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Hard Time Part IV

Posted on Wed Jan 11th, 2023 @ 2:26am by Commodore Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Ja'sol H'ros & Ensign Rachel Sinclair
Edited on on Wed Jan 11th, 2023 @ 3:38am

0 words; about a 1 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Igion Prison Complex
Timeline: MD004 2030 hrs

Last Time on Hard Time Part III

Ja'sol made it to the stairs and was going up the stairs slowly backwards so as not to let anyone get in behind them or to prevent them from reaching the safety that was finally close at hand. " Hang in there Rachel, we're almost there. "

Tivau held the door open as the two Starfleet Officers made their way back inside. The riot that had been brief but strong seemed to be dying out. She stood in the office and caught her breath and processed all that happened.

And Now the Conclusion...

Tivau caught her breath and regained her senses after the brawl. "Are you both ok? Any injuries?" She asked, she hoped that neither of them here hurt. That is all she needed if the General had to explain to her superiors how two visitors got injured while on what was supposed to be a tour.

" Nothing more than a few bruises and a ripped uniform. " Reported Ja'sol. He turned to Rachel. " How about you Rachel? Any injuries? "

Holding tightly to her phaser, Rachel shook her head in response to Ja’sol, “nnnn…no sir, no injuries” she said before moving to the nearest wall and leaning against it, Her face pale white from the fear she was feeling. Standing rigidly where she was for a moment, Rachel began muttering to herself, “not an Orion prison, not an Orion prison”

Tivau cocked and eyebrow and glanced at the Ensign. "Ensign are you okay? If you need assistance I can get you to the medical ward or if you would like back to your ship." She paused a moment and turned to Ja'sol. "I have seen this before Lieutenant, in my own people. It is the beginning of shell shock. I do not believe she will open up to me but perhaps she will open up to you. Talking is the best way to get her to calm down I believe."

Ja'sol nodded to Tivau that he agreed with her assessment of the situation and walked over to Rachel. " It's ok now Rachel, the fight is over and we're safe now. " He said in a soft and reassuring tone. He gently touched her arm. " Rachel could you please hand me the phaser and we'll go over to the table and sit down and and talk a bit. Would you like me to get you something to drink? "

Ja'sol's soft tone of voice did help Rachel start to feel better and as she began to calm down, she became more a little more responsive. Looking up at Ja'sol as he asked her to hand him her phaser, she considered saying no and keeping it close to herself, but her Starfleet self told her to trust him and do whatever he said. After a moment longer of shaking, Rachel slowly handed the phaser to Ja'sol, "water please sir" she answered, as her brain caught up with what had just happened.

As her boss took her phaser from her, Rachel quickly broke down and started sobbing, "I'm sorry Lieutenant. I thought I could handle it."

Ja'sol came back to the table and sat the glass of water in front of her and took the nearest seat next to her and gently placed his hand on her shoulder. " You thought you could handle it? " He repeated softly. " Someone back on Earth believed you to be quite exceptional coming right out of the academy. You were shipped out to the frontier and assigned to be the Assistant Chief of Security on a ship with an established crew and you not knowing anyone aboard. Further more your first away mission in your career is to a planet where we are investigating some mysterious and gruesome circumstance's are going on in a prison and a riot breaks out. All things considering, I think you've done a pretty good job for your first time out . "

Ja'sol paused briefly. " Rachel, I remember the days of my early career. I was so nervous and second guessing myself , trying not to screw up on anything and trying to be perfect and please my superiors and hoping to god I didn't look like an idiot trying to do my duty properly. Rachel I wasn't perfect back then and I'm certainly not perfect now. Nor do I expect you to be. I do expect you to do your best and if you have any questions, then ask me. It's the only way to learn from the experience that your superiors have had. I wouldn't be a very good security chief, If I didn't teach my people or help them to be the best they could be in their duties. If I didn't then I have failed in my duties as your superior and mentor. "

Hearing Ja'sol's words, Rachel took a couple of deep breaths, or at least as deep a breath as she could between sobs, and tried to refocus herself. Looking up at him, Rachel gave him a half hearted smile, "thank you sir. I'm fortunate to have you as a division CO."

Tivau allowed the conversation to progress normally all the while she processed what could have happened. She had no idea what these inmates got hold of or what got hold of them. She tried for the moment to steer things back on topic. "I apologize if this may seem insensitive. However, I do have a prison to get back on track. Back there during the fight it seemed like you may have hid something. Did you find anything in the cells?"

JA'sol reached into his ripped uniform top and pulled out a book and handed it to General Tivau. " Indeed we did find something, We found a copy of H.P Lovecraft's book of Cthulhu behind a panel in the lower cell wall, it seems to be the source of the contamination. How a book from an Earth author wound up in a prison on your planet is beyond me, If you need any help we would be more then happy to assist you in any way that I can. "

"I believe that our fates have become intertwined. However, I am not sure how one would go about learning how this book got here. From all that we know the crew of your vessel is the first from Earth to ever visit Igion. Is there a way that we can learn who has handled the book?" Tivau took the brown leather-bound book from Ja'sol. She leafed through the pages and found the paged made of parchment and bordered in gold. It was a finely made and possibly old copy of the book.

Reaching a slightly shaking hand down to her belt, Rachel grabbed her tricorder and placed it on the table infront of her, "we could scan the book and see if there are any foreign DNA traces on it. The fact that it is leather bound may help with that"

" Proceed with the scan then Ensign. " Said Ja'sol. He waited for the results of the scan and plan their next move and consult with General Tivau on the best course of action. " So let's see what the test results turn up. "

General Tivau realized that she had underestimated the Starfleet Officers. It seemed that this Ensign had more guts then most. If it meant anything the General had a small amount of admiration for the Ensign. "If the scans turn up anything then we can see what is what from there."

Picking up her tricorder, Rachel opened it up and began to scan the book. It took her a few moments as she had to eliminate Ja’sol’s DNA from the analysis. Giving a sigh, Rachel looked up at Ja’sol, “other then the prisoners DNA and your own Lieutenant, there appears to be traces of Romulan DNA, female I think”

Tivau's eyes widened for the briefest of moments. So brief that you had to be looking at her to notice. Romulans? There hasn't been Romulans on this world for hundreds of years. That and a number of other things ran through her head. "Ensign I need to be crystal clear on this before we proceed. Is it possible that you are detecting my DNA, or another member of my race? The Jutrai are related to the Romulans."

Giving Tivau a quick scan, Rachel shook her head, “it’s not yours. There are enough differences between Jutrai and Romulan to discern one from another. Just like Vulcans and Romulans” she said as she took a second scan of the book to double check her work. After a moment, the tricorder indicated a second Romulan signature had been detected, and this time it was male. “Um, Lieutenant, can I ask you to confirm this for me?”

Ja'sol came over and checked the reading that Rachel had just taken. " Her findings are correct General Tivau, Two sets of Romulan DNA, One male and one female. Either the DNA fragment is very old or someone did a good job of trying to mask it in case of discovery. If you'd like I could run a second scan, But I believe that the results will be the same."

"Well that can mean only one thing. We need to scan every member of the staff at this prison. One of them must be Romulan and they smuggled this into the prison. But the question still remains how did something from your databanks get here when none of your people have ever been here before?" Tivau knew what needed to be done and she was resolute. However, this still seemed damned perplexing.

Rachel was a little hesitant to respond as they hadn’t yet told Tivau or her people that she was half Romulan, and Rachel was still unsure how they would react to finding it out, especially given the information they now had. Taking a shaky breath in, Rachel swallowed her nerves before speaking, “if you would like Ma’am, we could use the sensors on the Pioneer to scan the facility for Romulans. The Intrepid class was designed as a science focused ship”

"Please do Ensign." Tivau went silent as she pondered what to do next, what all this could mean. "Theoretically speaking someone would have had to be able to access your computers and retrieve this book. Then bring it here and give it to the inmates. While I believe any Romulan could have gotten onto this planet with the book. I do not believe they could have beaten your security. Unles..." Her voice trailed off as she thought her next idea was too extreme.

"There have been several freighters that have been reported missing in this region of space in the last couple of years. I hope your not thinking that we had a spy on our ship. Ja'sol tapped his combadge." Computer, have any crew members during the past two years other then Ensign Sinclair's most recent inquiry been made? "

The computer responded. A total of six.

"How many are still aboard the ship currently?" He asked.

Three. Crewman Tate, Chief Petty Officer Hansen and Lieutenant JG Anderson. Ensign Brodrick was killed on an away mission. Crewmen Davis transferred off the ship fourteen months ago, And crewmen Thomas departed the same day you arrived. Replied the computer.

"That leaves five that I can investigate after I return to the ship. Stated Ja'sol. " I'd like to hear what you were thinking General Tivau, We'll leave no stone unturned."

"While I do not believe that the culprit is on your ship. I am sorry, but I am firmly set in the opinion that the culprit was a Starfleet officer. Perhaps one of Romulan descent. In theory they get the book, take leave from their post, come here posing as one of us, drop off the book and return to their post. I mean no offense Lieutenant but it is distinctly possible." Tivau rather liked these two officers and truly hoped that she did not offend. But her theory had to be offered up as it is just as valid as any others.

Using the PADD that had been beemed down earlier, Rachel accessed the Pioneer’s planetary scanner, tuned it for Romulan bio signs and triggered a scan. After a moment, as the others were talking, the result that she’d dreaded came through. Swallowing her nerves, Rachel spoke up, “um, the scan from the Pioneer only shows one Romulan Lifesign”

"What is their position on your vessel?" Tivau asked as she wondered if this person was the culprit. Surely the book did not just arrive here, it had to be here for some time for this kind of damage to be done.

“The Pioneer is currently in geosynchronous orbit over the prison facility” Rachel reported, starting to wish again that she’d stayed on the ship. Giving it a moment, Rachel figured with all that it happening right now, being up front with the general may be the best path. Looking over at Ja’sol, Rachel tapped his arm, “would now be a good time to tell them?”

Ja'sol nodded in agreement. " Go ahead Rachel, I'll let you do the honors. The Jutrai are a good and honorable people. We are here in good faith to assist them and they need to know that we are also a good and honorable people as well. We have nothing to hide from them."

Taking a deep breath, Rachel looked to Tivau, "The Romulan Lifesign is coming from me General. My father is, or maybe was, A Romulan" she said, bracing herself a little for a rather negative response. "If it helps at all, My mother was an Orion"

"While I appreciate you telling me, and with all due respect. That does not mean anything in this situation. I saw your reaction on the prison floor. So either you are an exceptionally skilled performer or you did not provide the book to the inmates. That seems to be the big connection here. Find the person who gave the book and we can bring down this house of cards." Tivau knew that some Romulans and descendants from Romulans joined Starfleet. However, she wondered how many of them may still be loyal to the Empire.

Giving a sigh of relief as the General’s response was far more understanding then she’d expected, Rachel focused her attention on the scan data from the Pioneer hoping to find something that could help.

Ja'sol watched the exchange and was relieved by the General Tivau's response. " I think we've learned as much from here as we can, I believe it's time for us to regroup and access what our next action will be. " With that said they returned to the embarkation area to meet up with the other groups and exchange information and see what the bigger picture would tell them and where they'd go to next.

A Joint Post By

Ensign Rachel Sinclair
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

General Tivau
Commanding Officer
Igion Defense Forces

Lieutenant Ja'sol H'ros Re Seva
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer


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