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Compounded Secrets

Posted on Mon Nov 20th, 2023 @ 8:52pm by Petty Officer 1st Class Tobias Beckett & Lieutenant JG Gage Tohoyia
Edited on on Mon Nov 20th, 2023 @ 8:53pm

0 words; about a 1 minute read

Mission: Episode 15 - The Evil That Lies Beneath
Location: SCIF - Deck 9 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD002 1300 hrs

Tobias had been toiling by himself in the SCIF for some time now. This was no problem for him as he was used to working alone. Currently, his assignment was to monitor and review all of the computer access on the Pioneer. This was a policy put in place by Starfleet Intelligence in an effort to make sure that there were no Maquis trying to usurp the ship.

Tobias hated the idea of spying on his friends but he had his orders. So there he sat clicking away at datafile after datafile. As he scrolled through the lists of recent commands from Lieutenant Commander Rowena McGowen his eyes widened. He could not believe his eyes. Tobias sat for a moment in silence as he debated how to proceed. He did not want to bring this to the Captain as Tobias could be wrong. For the same reason, he could not confront Rowena about it. The Assistant Chief was on assignment to the Marines at the moment. It was during this internal struggle that he looked up and saw Gage Tohoyia. "Perfect, he is new to the ship and of senior enough rank to do something about this. Tobias thought. "Lieutenant would come over here for a moment?"

The quiet of the SCIF was the reason Gage had taken to spending a good portion of his free time there reading, getting himself up to speed on the previous intelligence operations that the Pioneer had undertaken. Part of his training was taking past behavior and using it to determine future outcomes. In this instance, he was trying to understand how the people in the Intelligence Department worked together as a team and how he could best fit in. He was surprised to hear his name called out. He looked up and saw Petty Officer Beckett looking at him. The man's appearance was almost disheveled, which didn't bother Gage at all. He wasn't a stickler for those kinds of things. But he was concerned to see that instead of his normal smile, Beckett's face wore a serious look. Gage stood up.

"Of course," he said and made his way over. "What can I do?"

Tobias punched up the data that he had been looking at. "Have a look at these data requests. From what I see it seems that Commander McGowen has some rather interesting queries as of late for the computer. My issue is this can be something to look into or it could just be my head making this bigger than it should be. What do you make of it?" He slid his chair to the side to allow Gage a full view of the screen.

Gage let his eyes roam over the data that was listed on the screen. He could see that each line had a date and time stamp and who had requested the information and a brief summary of what the request entailed. Individually each one was pretty benign. He had an inkling of what the Petty Officer was talking about but he always liked to get others' opinions before he made any analysis himself.

"Ok," Gage said. "Tell me what you are seeing here?"

"If I didn't know any better I would think that Commander McGowen was planning a mutiny. She had accessed a number of mission files here, all of which were instances when the crew mutinied. Specifically, it seems that she is looking for how to keep the command staff out of the computer. She has also asked the computer hypothetically what would be the quickest way to offload a crew from the Intrepid Class." Tobias paused and ran his hand through his hair as he sighed. "Sir, now you see my quandary on the one hand I could be right, on the other she could be on a classified mission that I know nothing about."

Gage listened as the Petty Officer ran through his theory. He could see what the man was seeing but he also had more experience dealing with classified information.

"Your theory is possible based on the data you're looking at. However, you have to look at data outside of the parameters you're looking at. The Commander is the second officer on this ship and as such has access to information that we don't. Perhaps there is something going on that isn't in our files. Something so sensitive that it might not be in any database," Gage said and then paused. "At the same time, we can't just ignore this. Normally the assistant chief would track this down but that's not possible. I guess I will have to have a chat with the CO."

"I have never known any information that was too sensitive for the SCIF. However, I see your point. Perhaps I am simply being paranoid or overly sensitive as I look for conspiracies. If I may be so bold sir, I would recommend talking with the Commander before the Commodore. As you said the answer could be real simple." Tobias' face reddened briefly as Gage pointed out some things that he did not realize. He should have thought of that before bringing someone in on the accusations. Beckett silently chastised himself.

Gage considered the suggestion. Normally he wouldn't make contact with the person under suspicion. If the accusations were true, then things could go sideways. Putting people's backs against the wall made them act unpredictably and often violently. On the other hand, Gage might be able to find out more about what was going on if he probed carefully. He also knew that if he talked to the Commodore and it was all nothing, it might harm his relationship with Commander McGowen beyond repair.

"Alright. I'll talk with the Commander. Send this data to me. And don't talk about this with anyone else unless I suffer some kind of sudden accident. If that happens then go straight to the CO. Understood?"

"Yes sir, and thank you sir." Tobias replied. Deep within him he had an appreciation for Gage for taking him seriously and not brushing him off as others would have. This was a start to restoring Tobias' faith in everyone and everything. As Gage left and the SCIF resealed Tobias went back to his work. He transferred all of the data to Gage and continued to keep the search into McGowen running in the background.

Gage left Petty Officer Beckett behind and passed through the security access controls and exited she SCIF. He paused to consider his next course of action. "No use in putting this off," he muttered to himself.

"Computer, please locate Commander McGowen," he said.

=^= Commander McGowen is in their quarters=^=

Gage headed for the turbolift, hoping he was making the right call.

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Junior Grade Gage Tohoyia
Infiltration Specialist, USS Pioneer

Petty Officer First Class Tobias Beckett
Data Systems Analyst, USS Pioneer


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