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Red Team Part III

Posted on Mon Jul 17th, 2023 @ 1:56pm by Major Cornelius Tremble & Lieutenant JG Mira Jayna & Brigadier General Francis 'Judge' Sobel
Edited on on Mon Jul 17th, 2023 @ 7:48pm

0 words; about a 1 minute read

Mission: Episode 14 - The Poseidon Adventure
Location: VOQ Suite 14, Poseidon Station
Timeline: MD008 2000 hrs

Last time on Red Team Part II

"I can be subtle," Neil jokingly pouted. "Well. Ok. No. I like explosives way too much for that. And high yield artillery."

Tempest rolled her eyes then busied herself with refilling everyone's drinks, playing the hostess as she considered things and then eyed her husband. "You failed to mention which bad actors you intend for them to mimic, Frank. Is that why I'm in on this as well?"

Frank nodded and said simply, "Yes. We're not only going to be testing Fleet and Corp facilities. But also, member worlds defense systems and capabilities. When they do that, I'm guessing a few noses are going to get bent out of joint. The Defense Council is getting nervous..."

And Now The Conclusion...

"Well, they have every right to be," Tempest said. "Wincing at the thought. This could side track all sorts of things, Frank."

Frank spread his hands wide and said, "I don't give the orders in this case, Tempest. I just follow them. General Kai and Admiral Worcester suggested we inform the Diplomatic Corp through you. Apparently, you can be trusted."

Tempest gave him a sour look and then downed half of her bourbon in one gulp. Fighting back the burn she said, "So the trick will work a few times. Then they'll be ready for you."

In a flash of insight, Neil said "That's the point. If they think we're coming around, they'll sharpen their people up. Which will work for a few months then places will get lazy again."

Looking to Jayna, Neil said, "And we don't need to invade. Some of this can be accomplished by you slipping into someplace you shouldn't be able to and leaving a calling card. Sounds like a way to make friends..."

A slow smile spread across Jayna's face as she thought of some of the tricks she and her sister pulled on Bajor. "And they'll never know exactly who is coming and from where. Especially if Neil and his team tap dance at the front door." She grinned at him. In truth, she was continually amazed at what he and his Marines accomplished. "I look forward to discovering how many ways I can get past their protocols."

Frank took another sip of his bourbon and watched Neil and Jayna with satisfaction as the Machiavellian scheming began. Not so much for gaining power but the rest of the term’s definition seemed to fit. Tempest met his eyes and he saw that she had caught it too. No surprise and his eyes twinkled. "Don't get too far ahead listing all the holes a place might have," Jayna. "Leave something for the next time to see if they can actually find and fix problems or just try and cover up the obvious flaws."

Catching Neil's eyes, he said "Tempest is read in on this and will evaluate and present findings to the security council, while I keep the joint chiefs up to date. Read in Tyler and your new head of Intel to start off, but assure them this is a side mission and won't be anything that takes away from Pioneer's mission. Most of the time."

Then he took an innocent sip of his drink again and said, "If this goes well, you can tell me you want your bird and transfer to Brigade. I'll make B&E your full time gig. Hand-picked team. Lots of toys..."

Neil squinted at the general and said, "Still trying to Shanghai me, General? I thought me taking XO of the Pioneer was in the best interest of the Corp."

"That was last week, Neil," Frank said with a chuckle. "You know the whims of General type officers. And the Commandant has brought your name up a couple of times and I've had to use those very words to shuffle him off. "

Hearing the general talk about transferring Neil made Jayna feel like she couldn't breathe. Fortunately, she had a lifetime of keeping her feelings closely guarded. Of course, he would be promoted and eventually transferred, but this just made it feel more immediate. Or was this something he threatened on a regular basis? This was her first encounter with the general and his wife, only time would tell if he was serious. Raising an eyebrow, she turned to Tempest. "I may make a list of everything I find, but I don't give away all my secrets. Besides, having a baseline will not only let me see if they've fixed the problems Neil pointed out, but if they've looked for other ones...or just made more."

Tempest smiled back at Jayna and said, "Only to be expected. There's a concern within the Security Council that installations and commands get complacent. The Betazoid Defense Forces and delegation are constantly reminding others what happens when the things slip through the crack."

"True. It's that complacency that makes my job easier--and sometimes more entertaining." Jayna paused before adding. "I wonder if I could create some sort of call sign or marker to indicate where I got in and tell them to find it. It could show us how good they are at troubleshooting." She would have to give that more thought.

Grinning, Neil said, "That's easy. Once we gain entry, we'll put in a clicker-ticker sub-routine to all crew quarters. When the lights go out, it'll make the sound of a Tiverian cricket, but disappear when the lights go on. When they start looking for it, it'll jump systems and hide, returning when normal sleep patterns are supposed to kick in. If we do it right, we can even link them into the place’s comms. Anytime they try to communicate, it'll be more cricket noise. After a cycle or so of not finding it, the Klingon Opera kicks in. Two days later, Comm's are returned for incoming calls, and a single channel lets them contact the Brigadier."

Frank gave Neil a look and sighed, "Xax-Damned Gunnery sergeants. I remember that little bit of fun from when I was stationed on Praxia."

"Crickets? That could be interesting, but I like a drop of water, if it's audible. Or just a recurring click. If it's not, I can be a lot more...creative." Jayna was looking forward to this and the opportunity to expand her skill set.

Chuckling, Neil nodded and said, "We'll probably have a chance to play around with multiple ways to mess with commands. The thing we'll have to keep in mind is to use a measured test against any given command. That's the harder part: not going full tilt, though sometimes we'll probably be in and out and not even tell them about it. The General and Doctor will have to guide us in some of it."

Francis nodded agreeably, taking another long sip from his glass. "Right. Some facilities we'll also want to leave vulnerable. Just not overly vulnerable. The bad-actors have to get intel from someplace and it might as well be misinformation and non-sense."

Now it was Tempest's turn to nod. "Yes. That's the more delicate part. Those facilities don't know they're vulnerable and it's slightly unfair that we're using them for such a thing but..."

"Better us than someone who means harm," Jayna concluded. "We're ultimately doing them a service." And, depending on what they find, it could end up saving a life or two."

Neil grinned at her and said, "Right. A good theory but imagine checking into the SKIF some morning and finding cartoons playing on all the monitors for maybe a day."

"I actually know an archivist who has Tetris playing on all her monitors. It's how she keeps people from getting into her system without permission." Jayna grinned back. "But your point is well-taken. I think I should create a dancing dinosaur. Or a dozen of them, just to see how people react."

Grinning, Neil glanced toward the General who nodded and said, "Well, seems you're warming to the subject. Good. Now."

"Now, dessert and coffee," Tempest said as she stood, smoothing her skirt and moving toward the kitchen. "The General has a full schedule and needs his rest."

Squinting at Tempest, Frank sighed and downed the rest of his drink. "Looks like that's about that, Neil. We'll have to continue things later, but you've got the gist."

"Aye aye, Brigadier," Neil said, finishing off his own glass.

Jayna quickly followed suit and finished her drink. This had been an...enlightening evening, and she wanted to write down some of her ideas.

A Joint Post By

Major Cornelius Tremble
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer
Commanding Officer, The Cure

Lieutenant Junior Grade Mira Jayna
Assistant Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer
Intelligence Liaison, The Cure

Brigadier General Francis Sobel

Commanding Officer, 258th Starfleet Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Empok Nor


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