Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: Deep Space
Timeline: MD 3 (March 5, 2393)
::Escape Pod E-12::
Ismael glanced around the crowded interior of the escape pod. No one had said a word since they successfully ejected from the Kyushu before its destruction. Not everyone was so lucky.
"So, do you guys think anyone picked up our distress call?" he asked, somewhat sheepishly, in an effort to break the silence.
K'vagh was clearly in discomfort but his Kingon 'stiff upper lip' did a good job hiding it. His shoulder was still dislocated, possibly even broken, with only basic meds and a field trauma kit inside the escape pod it was unlikely to be rectified any time soon. Add to that the internal temperature of the escape pod was near freezing due to power conservation and you get one grumpy Klingon. "Starfleet command was apprised of our location before the Kyushu was destroyed, they will start looking for us any time soon. We were due a sit-rep nineteen hours ago." he mumbled.
Malaya was, as well, tending to her own injuries with limited medical training. A gash on her right arm she did not really notice she had, until after her adrenaline rush ended.
She had been hoarding the dermal regenerator for about ten minutes and was nearing the point of accepting that, for now, all she could do was stabilize the wound until rescue came.
Malaya also knew her same arm needed its shoulder popped back into place, but she was not willing to voice that. Just keep it still and in a sling and no one would be the wiser. Yup!
"Are ship postings normally this lively?" Malaya asked, her eyes still focused on the gash on her right forearm. "I have never served on an active duty ship before. Not since the Academy - I mean... I did serve on a cadet cruise, but it was on a medical ship. So we did not see action."
Ismael shook his head. "We didn't fire a single shot in the five months I was aboard the Kyushu. As a matter of fact," Gesturing at Liv who had been stabilized and sedated, he continued, "Lieutenant Bancroft here was complaining it was getting boring." A sigh. "I don't think this is what she would want though." Looking back up, he asked, "What if the Themyscira came back and finish the job? I mean, why did they attack us in the first place?"
"I do not think Themyscira meant to obliterate your crew," Malaya interjected as she drank on some water. "I was unaware of the fact the AI that aided us, was Themyscira's AI, until a few moments ago... And what I saw of it?"
Malaya looked rather dubious as she contemplated. "It integrated its programming within our computer and had full access to all of our systems. Now... It either overwrote your AI, or deleted it. Either way, It performed tasks at rates current ship AIs aren't capable of.
"Add to that... none of Its actions lead to a murderous intent, but rather a disabling attempt. It fought hard to evacuate as many lives as possible, which tells me the AI had orders from someone else. So I conclude the AI was not programmed within the last few decades."
Ismael looked to K'vagh and then back to Malaya.
"What are you saying? The Themyscira is some sort of top secret prototype gone rogue?" A pause. "Their weapons pod did seem different from the ones installed on the Luna class ships that I know of."
What was Malaya saying? She thought about that a moment before she replied with, "The Themyscira posses technology we cannot currently replicate or use. They are likely anywhere between fifteen and twenty years ahead of us - if the current rate of technological advancement continues as is."
That was when Malaya looked around in the medkit for a specific hypo cartridge. Her eyes were turning red, every light source was starting hurt her eyes. Moments of high stress sometimes put her senses into overdrive.
She had learned, of course, to try and remain calm - well... calmer than most living with the condition. Given her injuries as well, she needed something to relieve the pressure.
"I need something for the pain. Who has the morep?" Malaya asked with a face constricting more and more by the second.
K'Vagh looked in the med-kit, at the last remaining hypo-spray, they had all used a fair amount of analgesic due to their injuries, "Here". The Klingon handed the vial over to his comrade and sat back to try and relax. "I would recommend all of you conserve your strength and speculation for our court martial".
Ismael's eyes opened wide at the mention of "court-martial".
"Wait, what? Court-martial? What are you talking about?"
K'vagh looked upon his comrades with confusion, only realizing a moment later that most of them were not senior officers or bridge crew. "Standard procedure in the event any starship is lost, an inquiry is launched by the Judge Advocate General. This would involve a court-martial of the ship's captain and senior officers .......as we are the only surviving officers, that duty will most likely fall to us".
"Inquiries determine if court martials are needed," Malaya corrected. "I do not think that applies to me, since I was a guest, filling in for someone with a banana allergy - Unless of course, they wish to inquire if I am at fault for supplying the banana."
Malaya chose that moment to shift over to Ismale. Given her inability to read social cues, what Malaya took for 'Sincereity', someone might have thought she was hitting on Ismale.
"And for the record... I did not know you were allergic to bananas. Your dishonesty attributed to the anaphylactic shock, which resulted in I aiding the engineering staff."
Ismael hesitated for a moment. "Uhr . . . sorry? . . ."
Before he could say anything else - not that he knew what else to say - the escape pod's comm system came alive.
=/\= This is Commander Nola Elbrun of the USS Arcadia to the Kyushu. We have received your distress call. We are en-route to your location. ETA 42 minutes.=/\=
=^= Lieutenant Alkan here. We have injured mostly mild injuries... Where is Captain Lee? How do we know you're the real USS Arcadia? =^=
Given the day they had, Malaya was instantly dubious about the hail. Events like this, the ship's CO would normally take point. Thus Malaya continued on with, =^= Squawk identity and transponder ping check, please. =^=
She suddenly realized that was likely not the best way to check identity since the escape pods did not have an operations console with a fleet transponder listing in its database.
"If the Arcadia were genuine they would not necessarily be aware the Kyushu was destroyed. If it is a deception, perhaps we can beat them at their own game?" K'vagh suggested.
"Identity check first," Malaya insisted. "That is protocol."
=/\=Who's this again?=/\= the voice on the other end of the comm link did not sound too amused.
=^= I have already identified myself. Starfleet regulations state that during hostile evolutions where potentially hostile combatants are still in the field and monitoring communications... =^= Malaya huffed, paused, and began again, =^= ...I do not think I need to quote regulations, Who-ever-you-are. Though, if you are who you say you are, then squawking your identity to us should not be an issue. =^=
There was a brief pause before Nola spoke again.
=^=The last time I checked, Lieutenant Alkan, your escape pod is not designed to process transponder signals, so you will just have to take my word for it. As for Captain Lee, he is . . . unavailable a the moment. You will be debriefed of the situation once you come aboard. Elbrun out.=^=
"Right." Malaya frowned. "I guess we sit and wait."
Lieutenant Ismael Campos
(NPC - Roger/Oliver)
Chief Tactical Officer
Lieutenant Alkan Malaya
Chief Engineer, USS Arcadia
Lieutenant Commander Nola Elbrun
Acting Commanding Officer
USS Arcadia (NPC - Roger/Oliver)