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A Brief Update

Posted on Mon Mar 2, 2020 @ 5:55pm by Commodore Michael Aravan & Captain Madelina Weisz & Lieutenant Commander Arrda & Lieutenant Commander Kelani Tetanal & Lieutenant Commander Alex Rho & Lieutenant Jas Niecta & Lieutenant Martha Cusack & Lieutenant Zekori Dosan & Lieutenant Calista Aereen MD & Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas Barnes

Mission: The Nanjing
Location: Ready Room
Timeline: MD 1 || 1500 Hours

After leaving the Master Chief and Chief of Intelligence, Michael headed back to the bridge. With the new information, vague though it was, he had to inform the other department heads about the changes and he wanted an update from Security and Tactical.

As he entered his ready room, the Commodore tapped his combadge. =^=All department heads report to the Ready Room,=^= He ordered as he went to make a fresh pot of coffee. They were only on the first day of their new mission and things had already started to go sideways and if he knew himself, this would only be one pot of many.

Maddy, who was currently on the bridge, rose to her feet. It only took a few seconds for her to pass command duties off to the next office in charge temporarily before making her way toward the ready room. The redhead paused only for a moment to straighten out her uniform, then moved inside to give a polite nod in greeting to the Commodore. "Sir," she greeted, taking a quick look around as she made her way toward the table to take her usual seat.

Tom barely had time to change out of the protective suit by the time the Commodore called. He'd noticed that his hands had begun to shake, likely from all of the adrenaline wearing off and the shock of what he'd been through starting to set in. The ship was still in crisis, and he had to keep going. All he could hope for was that after this meeting, he could drop by sickbay to get checked out, and then have the Borg nanoprobes removed from his system. The longer they were in there, the more hazardous they could be to Tom in the future.

The experience, however, left him quite curious. Part of him actually wanted to repeat or even prolong the experience. What a rush that had been. But he couldn't think about that now. He had to remain focused on the mission... whatever the mission was now. For that reason, he arrived at the Commodore's Ready Room and entered. "Commodore. Captain," he greeted.

Calista entered the room and gave the others present a nod, "Sir, I also have my initial readiness report for you." She said to the Commodore handing him the PADD.

At Michael’s call, Kelani rose slowly from the biobed and inclined her head respectfully to the EMH saying, “I thank you Doctor, but I must go....I will return if anything untoward happens.” She then left Sickbay and made her way to the Bridge, then the Ready Room, entering and inclining her head respectfully to all present before making her way to a seat and settling herself.

Tom nodded to both of the women in blue who had just entered. The Science Chief seemed to be okay following their intense incident, and he also assumed that the new arrival was either a Counselor or a new Chief Medical Officer. To Kelani, Tom asked quietly, "Everything okay with you and Lieutenant Silvan?"

At Tom’s question, Kelani gave him a small smile as she said, “For the most part, yes, I am well. I cannot speak for Lieutenant Silvan. I am still trying to understand much of what I was bombarded with. I am relieved to see that you are well.”

Lieutenant Zekori Dosan stepped into the conference room. There were only a few familiar faces in the room: the Commodore himself, the chief medical officer and the Chief Engineer. He sat across from the Master Chief.

Martha was next to arrive in the conference room - clutching a cup of tea in one hand and a PADD in the other. The Chief Tactical Officer briefly scanned for a vacant seat before choosing one at the far end of the table - placing her drink and PADD down before taking her seat.

The last little while had been most interesting for Alex. The information he'd gleaned from the Master Chief's memories would make for good reading back at SI headquarters. It was a new threat, even if they managed a decent contact with whoever built the weapon. All of this passed through his mind while he entered the room and took a seat.

Michael had been absorbed in a PADD and confident that Maddy would and could handle the staff until he was ready to address them. When he looked up, he was surprised to see Commander Tetanal present. "Commander," he said. "Aren't you supposed to be in Sickbay?"

“The doctor permitted me to come, Commodore, on condition that I report back to Sickbay if I begin to feel overwhelmed again. At present I can function well, I believe. I wish to help solve this mystery in any way I can.”

Michael nodded at Kelani, then waited for the rest to arrive.

TAG Hunter: Enter

Arrda was not accustomed to being the last one to enter a briefing. He was normally one of the first to arrive. But he had been very engrossed in trying to determine what the hell could have done this to a Borg Cube. The problem was that he didn't have enough data. Okay, that was one problem. The main problem was that he was no Scientist. He hoped that the Science department had fared better than his team had thus far. And he did not relish the report he had to give... that they had only come up with 'can we snag a sample of destroyed cube please?' It galled him that he could not form a strategy against this. But then, he had no idea what 'this' was.

The commodore's call, the tone in his voice rather, had suggested that there had been a breakthrough. Maybe it would give him something to work with. He hoped. For now, he moved quietly to his seat with a PADD and a cup of Marai coffee and sat, awaiting the start of the meeting.

The doors opened revealing that Jas was one of the last to finally make it to the meeting. Shrugging off the moment of self-consciousness Jas nodded to everyone already there and took a seat towards the end of the table. Pulling up the latest report from his department on his PADD, and waited for the last of them to enter.

"Normally, this would be where I stand up and tell you what we're facing, but honestly, I don't know," Michael admitted. "The away team returned with a box and a dead Borg Drone. I'd like the people responsible for analysing both to tell me what you've learned and we'll start with Master Chief Barnes as he has had a unique experience."

Tom shifted in his seat. He wasn't expecting to be briefing the staff on what he saw, but then again, nothing today had gone like expected. "We, uh, we were studying the box in the... Well, we were about to study the box in the science labs with Commanders Rho and Tetanal, trying to figure out how to establishing a neural interface without harming anyone. The box had its own ideas and synced itself... with me."

He inhaled and exhaled sharply, processing the images once more in his mind that had become all too familiar. "The Borg cube attempted to assimilate a Cardassian frieghter that contained a large amount of dolamide. As soon as the Borg started to cut into it, however, the transport... dissolved... and basically ate or melted the drones it came into contact with, and large portions of the cube itself."

Maddy blinked once this new bit of information was shared, and boy, was it a hell of a way to find out. The redhead didn't know what to think, or feel, at the moment. "Wait... let's back this up for a second," she began, giving Tom her complete attention. "What do you mean the box synced itself with you? What ideas could it have possibly had?"

Tom could very easily hear the tone in her voice. “I didn’t volunteer for it, if that’s what you’re asking. I was closest to the box, so it chose me. Thanks to it, I have Borg nanoprobes in my bloodstream and a nice imprint in my brain. I’m just grateful I wasn’t assimilated.”

And for that, the Captain was grateful as well, but this was a pretty big deal. "Who sitting here right now knew about this?" Maddy demanded, her fists balling up on top of the table. In fact, they were balled up so tightly, her fingernails began to bite deep into her palm, sending droplets of blood to the surface beneath them. There was definitely fire in her eyes, and she felt the sudden urge for someone to burn for allowing her to find out this way.

Michael could almost feel the heat coming from the redheaded Executive Officer and held up a hand. "Myself, Master Chief Barnes, Commander Rho and Commander Tetanal. This just occurred within the hour, Captain. He's been scanned and they're listed as deactivated."

Tom almost spoke up immediately to add that he would have them removed as soon as possible, but a moment's hesitation held him back. He took a different course of action. He looked across the table to lock eyes with her. "Maddy, I'm fine," he tried to assure her.

Maddy's eyes fell to Michael. He knew the look he was getting. She'd be talking to him later. Then, she looked toward Tom. He said he was fine, but did she really believe that? No, but for now, she would pretend. But, in reality, the redhead woman wanted nothing more than to line up every single person that knew about it and smack the taste out of their mouths. "If you say you're fine, then I have no choice but to believe it. Carry on," she stated, removing her bloody hands from the tabletop and placing them on her lap. No one needed to see that.

The room sensors detected the blood and the holoemitters activated as the female EMH appeared. She scanned the blood on the table and tsked, then removed it with a device before she turned to the Captain. "Do you require medical assistance, Captain Weisz?" it asked.

The redhead looked toward the EMH and held her hands out. There was little point in arguing, and the small self-inflicted wounds did sting a bit. "Do what you need to do," she said.

A dermal regenerator was replicated by the computer and beamed into the EMH's hand and she ran it smoothly over Maddy's hands. "And there you go." Without another word, it and the regenerator vanished.

Michael knew the look and quickly repressed a shudder, but he had obligations and duties and she was going to skin him no matter what he did.

Tom knew there would be a discussion with the Executive Officer once this was done, especially since Tom hadn't had a moment to warn her prior to the briefing. But that was going to have to wait for now. "As soon as the download, or whatever you want to call it, finished, the box shut down, as did the nanoprobes in my system. We still don't know exactly what caused the cube's destruction, nor was there any sign of whatever it was when we first approached the cube. The Borg certainly didn't have any explanation for it, and nor do we."

Martha sat in relative silence as the briefing progressed. Her analysis of the debris which was brought on board the Triumphant had proved inconclusive - and now if anything there were more questions to answer. Martha went over the scan results in her head in the vain hope that there was perhaps something - anything - that she may have missed.

Kelani spoke slowly, saying, “That would explain what happened to Lieutenant Silvan and me.” Turning slightly in her seat so as to face Michael more directly, she continued, “When the box—chose—Chief Barnes he cried out and I called for Medical help immediately. The next thing I knew, images were flooding my mind at such a volume and speed that I could not process it. That is why I collapsed and very probably why Lieutenant Silvan did as well....”

Alex had been listening to the whole back-and-forth. He'd known about it all, but he didn't know about any connection between the Captain and the Master Chief. This was a whole different dynamic now. One that would have to wait a while. "We don't have an explanation for it yet."

"What is the makeup of this box?" The Bajoran Chief Operations Officer felt somewhat loss in the debriefing while he picked up a PADD and glimpsed over the information. He looked up across to Master Chief Barnes for assistance.

Tom turned to look at the Bajoran Lieutenant. "I mean, it's Borg technology. A lot of the materials aren't recognizable by our sensors, but there are some elements that matched Voyager's records of the Delta Quadrant. There wasn't organic matter in at all, but it appears to activate only on a set of conditions. Knowing how networked the Borg cubes are with one another, I'd almost surmise that its a redundant datacore designed to output the last unsynced packets of data to a drone. Which... for whatever reason it thought I was."

"Some kind of isolinear chip?" The Chief Operations Officer questioned.

Tom cocked his head slightly to the right. "I'm not sure I understand the question."

The Bajoran Chief Operations Officer wasn't certain what he got at. He remembered one of his instructors mentioning something about a twenty-first century storage device on Earth but couldn't remember the name. He grabbed a PADD to do a search, "This is just a theoretical but maybe something like a Universal Serial Basic flash drive? From my understanding of the ancient human technology you could use it to update firmware on devices. Perhaps this box, is used the same for separate Borg drones?"

Michael watched with curiosity, then with confusion. "From what Master Chief Barnes said, it was a nanoprobe injection that acted like a flight recorder," he said to the Chief of Ops whose name he couldn't remember off the top of his head.

Arrda frowned slightly. "Yes, it sounded as if the thing assimilated him only enough to receive the download. Or did I misunderstand, Mr. Barnes?" If that was the case, that made things... interesting at b est and very unpredictable and dangerous at worst.

Tom grimaced, not exactly liking his experience being put so inelegantly into words. "That... that is one way of putting it. But I would agree with the Commodore. A flight recorder is the best description of the device, especially since it had a singular purpose. We do know the Borg Collective does still develop specialized drones for certain situations, as are elements of their technology."

The grimace told Arrda that he had said something wrong. "Apologies, Mr. Barnes. There seemed to be some confusion; I was merely trying to clear it up. But I should have shown more sensitivity to your situation." Not to mention that the engineer was correct. The Borg did have specialized drones, so why shouldn't other of their technology be specialized too.

"No, no," Tom added. "You weren't wrong. There are Borg nanoprobes in my bloodstream, and probably still sitting there in my brain. In over twenty years of service, I counted myself thankful to not crossed paths with the Borg. It's... it's damn poetic that the first time I do, I could have easily been added to their collective by something so damned simple. That is now my burden to bear here."

"Thank you, Master Chief Barnes." Zekori answered. It did dismiss his theories but he was still flabbergasted about the box. He sat back in his seat at the table.

Martha still continued to listen to the ongoing conversation between her colleagues - taking sips of her cup of tea occasionally. By the sounds of what Tom had experienced by analysing what was presumed to be a flight recorder Martha counted herself very lucky it wasn't her who been analysing it.

Tom cleared his throat and sat up in his seat. They'd spent too much time trying to figure out what this box was than focusing on the larger truth bomb. "Box aside, what I saw was a Cardassian transport disintegrate and practically dissolve a Borg cube like hot coffee being poured on ice. There's nothing to say that the threat is over, nor is there anything to say that there's a threat to us. But, there's definitely something unusual in the Badlands, and I have to wonder if that is what attracted the Borg Cube in the first place."

Maddy was still angry, and the fact that people were beginning to lose focus didn't help matters. Maybe she'd need to invest in a few hundred bonsai trees and other various plants for her own office. Perhaps, wear one around her neck while on duty. "You're all missing the bigger picture here. The box no longer matters, but what it revealed needs to be our focus now. That is what's important," she said, turning her attention toward Arrda, then to Martha. "You two... neither of you has said a single thing about what you were tasked to do, so am I to assume it hasn't been done?"

Kelani spoke slowly, “The Master Chief has a point—there is a threat here, and one which we cannot detect yet. If the Borg were willing to warn us, it must be dangerous indeed.

Martha responded. "It has been done. I've scanned on every single spectrum possible and it's shown absolutely nothing. So we're still none the wiser as to who - or indeed what - did this to the Borg cube. I'd like to bring some debris aboard for closer analysis"

"Did you pick up on anything that was missing from the sensor readings?" Tom asked. "When we first beamed over to the cube and conducted our initial scans, there was quite a bit that was missing. The Borg assimilate whatever they touch, and they build their cubes around their collections. The Cardassian frieghter, for example, was targeted for being rich in dolamide, which is just as common as duranium, triantium, and dueterium. Yet, none of those, and other familiar metals were left behind, though there was evidence that they were there. The Triumphant, like other starship ships, has a duranium-tritanium double hull composite. Based on that alone, we have to assume we're a target, even though we're a mere fraction the size of the cube."

"Nothing Chief. Even with all of my scans I know as much as I did at the start - there's absolutely nothing which gives even the slightest clue about what caused this" Martha confirmed.

"Get a sample, but make absolute certain that it's isolated and quarantined from the rest of the ship," Michael said. "Whatever dissolved the Borg Cube could still be there. I want every precaution, scan, transporter filter and everything else used on this project."

Martha nodded. "Yes Commodore"

The Enforcer Neutrality was his salvation. He understood that the captain was angry, but taking it out on him and Cusack would not make the situation resolve itself. And assuming that he had not done anything simply because he had not interjected was insulting. It presupposed that he was shirking his duty, and that was not in any way him. But all of that was pushed aside in the calm of the Neutrality. It didn't matter what she thought. Fact was fact.

"I did send you a request, Commodore, for permission to do just that. As I had not received authorization, I had guessed that there was a reason and would have asked when others had finished their reports, sir. However, since that permission has now been given, I am ready to move forward. I will have Security personnel guarding the cargo bay as well as all of the precautions that myself and Ms. Cusack can come up with."

"My apologies, Commander," Michael said to Arrda. "At the time, I was more concerned if Master Chief Barnes was going to turn into a Borg. Use whatever you need."

Arrda nodded. "Completely understandable, sir. And, of course, now that I know why the request went unanswered, I understand completely." He looked to Martha. "I will get you set up in Cargo Bay 2 immediately after this briefing." His eyes returned to Michael. "Unless you would prefer another location, sir?"

"Get with Lieutenant Zekori and Master Chief Barnes," the Commodore ordered. "Make certain that the containment procedures are tested in every way."

Arrda nodded. "Of course, Commodore." He then fell silent. No more needed to be said by him at this stage. But he did begin to work out some containment protocols that were meant to augment or supplement, hopefully both, the standard protocols. He would, of course, ask Barnes specifically for input given his exposure to not only the Borg device but its 'memories' of what happened. Of all of them, Barnes had the most knowledge of what they faced... even if it was not that much.

"Commodore," Tom said, turning to the Commanding Officer. "If possible, I would like to drop by sickbay prior to that." He didn't want to state it again, but he did want to get the nanoprobes removed from his system before they decided to reactivate and compromise him.

"Of course, MAster Chief," Michael said. "Anyone else have input or suggestions?"

When there were no other questions, the Commodore gave a nod. "Dismissed." He glanced at his Executive Officer and knew that round one was coming, and the less people there were to see it happen, the better.


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