- From: "Brad Ruder" <GroundZero@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: ussbanshee@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 17:59:56 -0700
by Lieutenant Joshua
This log takes place directly before
the simulation and my last line will be the first line that I speak
in the sim on Thursday.
With Bloodshot eyes,
Josh gazed into the abyss of passing numbers and files that littered
his console monitor. On the bridge, which had a damper upon it due
to the Captain?s absence, Josh?s newest task was to decode the signal
to determine what exactly the Peregrine fighter?s occupants were
searching for. He had some ideas, but nothing that proved to be good
enough to help him decode the masterfully coded transmission.
The only lead that he had, which had proven successful
compared to his other, more pitiful attempts, was that it most likely
was a ship once employed and used by the Maquis. Even though the
lead was substantially concrete, it still didn?t help that there were
over one hundred Maquis encryption codes, many of which had never
been broken by Starfleet Intelligence. Of course, given protocol,
Josh had already used those that had successfully been solved ? of
course, to no avail.
?I swear that we?re working against a
computer. No known human, or android for that matter, could do such
complicated encryption.? Josh?s fingers continually danced nimbly
over the console, which amazed him being that they felt ready to fall
off and slide off the station?s console. He had been at it for about
an hour and he was apparently working in circle. He would fight
against one subroutine and then end up battle an identical subroutine
from the same relay intersection as he had started with.
using a standard deviation of the Starfleet Intelligence decryption
patterns.? Ensign Chaos walked up to Josh?s side; his head buried
deep in an operation PADD.
?All of them??
Chaos looked up from his obvious busy work and took a deeper look at
Josh?s work, or lack thereof. ?You mean to tell me that you?ve used
all forty-seven deviations??
Josh smiled, ?Forty-nine.
Starfleet Intelligence submitted a new one to Starfleet Command two
months ago and it got accepted and sent to all ships. I used it and
got the same pathetic results as I am getting while going at it
manually.? Josh switched his head to another monitor as it deleted
one of the files that he was working to decode.
?Hey, it looks
like you got something.?
?No, it was a file that told me the
sub-folder. I already know that they were rummaging around in the
personnel files. Who they were looking for is another story.?
Returning his gaze to the never-ending pile of files and subroutines,
Josh could feel his optic nerves deteriorating under the glaring
light of the console. His head had been spinning as of late. He was
a little uneasy about who these ?mystery watchers,? as he called
them, were and what they were looking for.
?Have you tried the
Maquis desequencers? Chaos bumped Josh over a bit and started
tapping a bit on the console. Josh, although thankful for the break,
wanted to continue working so he didn?t lose his focus which he had
worked so hard to attain and retain over the past hour.
standard desequencers didn?t have an effect.?
?What about the
secondary relay inverters?? Chaos tapped a couple more buttons on
the console keyboard and brought up an entirely new subroutine and
decryption sequence. ?They sometimes work with Maquis systems. If
they were implemented before the download began then you?d have to
work backward through the files, rather than normally forward.?
Perking his eyebrow, Josh drew a more serious glance at
Chaos. He knew a lot about Maquis systems and how to decode their
messages. The Banshee was in orbit around Cardassia at the current
time. That made it even more suspicious in his present display of
knowledge and interaction. Was he trying to encrypt the files even
more? Was he in league with the Cardassians, being that they were
the major conflict with the Maquis besides the
Shaking away his misgivings about the lowly
Ensign, Josh pushed Chaos away from the console. ?I?ve got things
under control here, thanks though.?
?Are you sure? Decryption
was one of my stronger skills at the Academy.?
but thank you for your input. I?m sure that I can finish this before
I?m too old and weak to stand up straight.? Josh laughed as he
changed the settings back to the original and erased Chaos? attempted
change in approach.
Chaos nodded and dove back into his PADD
as he turned tail and walked away back across the bridge to his
station. Josh, gazing after Chaos, turned his attention to the
Commander. He sat motionless in the center chair, gazing out the
viewscreen on the halted Cardassian freighter. Josh shook his head,
and returned to his work.
Accessing more decryption
subroutines and patterns that he though may have an effect on the
coded signal, Josh realized that parts of the message had been
decoded and were now visible. Tapping a couple of buttons, Josh
accessed the accessible files and brought them up for viewing. His
eyes pranced playfully around the files ? still somewhat coded ? and
rested on the end of the document. In his head Josh slowly counted
the number of files that had been viewed.
seven with a crew of one hundred and something? Josh saw this as
unlikely and probably just part of what was accessed. After trying
to find a backward path out of the accessed messages Josh found
himself at the first problem he had encountered. After some
deductive reasoning that allowed Josh to realize that that was all
that was accessed, he went to decoding the messages that were viewed.
The ranks were scrambled, the names had been encoded with an entirely
new set of decryption codes, and the posts were even encoded.
Whoever was searching through the Banshee?s bowels knew what they
were doing and made it blatantly obvious that they didn?t want to be
The postings were easy to unscramble; the first
one at least was easy to decode. A simple Maquis inverted subroutine
scrambler was used and the twenty-seventh decryption sequence ? which
Josh had conveniently programmed to continually attempt to decode the
messages ? cleared things up quite nicely for him.
Josh rubbed his eyes again as he returned
his gaze into the console. An assistant security officer?huh? He
thought that he had things under control, but with this new bit of
information it didn?t make sense. There wasn?t an Assistant Security
Officer on the ship that made a difference in ship function. If the
Maquis, long disbanded after the rebellion ended, were looking for
hostile takeover or imminent destruction they wouldn?t go after the
low brow security officers. D?nalls, being the chief of the
department, would be a likely subject to observe, but that didn?t
make sense to go after an underling.
Continuing on his
decryption sequences Josh realized that another one of the names on
the list was similar in form to the first posting that he decoded.
None of the normal patterns were working so he attacked it by hand.
He first disabled the connecting subroutines, then he scanned for a
resonance trace. Once that was attuned he tapped into the trace?s
frequencies and slowly decoded the posting of the next person on the
Chief Security Officer.
?Oh, damn.? Josh let the
phrase rest on his lips and resonate softly within his ?cubicle.?
Now he was getting somewhere, but the question was whether or not he
wanted to find out more. The positions were going to show a lot
about what they ? whoever they are ?
are looking for. ?This is
going to get uglier, I just know it is.?
The buttons had never
been pressed so harshly or with such purpose before. Josh tapped the
console with mercy and premeditation. It wasn?t like he was in a
hurry, but he was intrigued and partially worried about the other
five files that had been accessed. The files, which appeared to be
less coded than the originals, easily gave way to his quickened pace
and urgency. File after file was decoded, the positions popping up
like mad on his screen.
Chief Science Officer.
Damn it. Josh tried to keep his composure for he was sure what the
next one would be; the relationship between the four would be
obvious. Chief Science Officer, combined with the Chief and
Assistant Security Officer, were three-fourths of the away team that
resided on the Cardassian surface. This was troubling. Although
that the name appeared to have that direct relation it didn?t make up
for the other three that were likely to remain after the next one was
decoded. The away team was a topic of great interest to people of
and not of the Federation?s rules and regulations. Secondly, anyone
that wanted to destroy the possibility of Cardassian-Federation
negotiation and alliances would definitely try and sabotage this
For an instant, as though his track of mind drew him
there, Josh?s mind and sight drifted across the bridge to Ensign
Chaos. Josh shook the thoughts of a traitor serving on the bridge
from his head. He wouldn?t let himself drop to the levels of
accusations and hysteria. Chaos wasn?t a traitor and he wasn?t
someone that would conspire against his own shipmates. Or...would
he? Come to think about it, Josh thought, he didn?t know anything
about the mysterious Ensign.
?Damn it, Josh, focus on the task
at hand.? Josh strained and pulled his focus back to the console and
the remaining encoded files that littered the screen. After breaking
down the last barriers on the fourth file Josh felt his heart leap
into his throat.
That left three
unidentifiable files. Surely they wouldn?t hold the punch that the
first four had yielded. Josh struggled forward, more curious then
scared about the contents of the last four. The crewmembers that
were on the list would have to be of high importance to warrant the
investigation of an unknown origin. The files seemed to be decoding
themselves as another posting flew off the screen.
Sara. Josh looked at the screen
incredulously and fought to see how she would have anything to do,
well, with anything. She was vital to the operation of the ship per
say the helmsmen, but in other ways she was the most vital person on
the ship. Fighting back the urge to call her at that very instant,
Josh trudged forward as the two files still remained to taunt him.
Josh scrambled and sorted the decoded files and looked at the
remaining two. Reluctantly, as if to protect those names that were
concealed, Josh tapped the button and opened the position ? being the
only part of the message that was accessible.
Commander Andros. Josh let his gaze trail to the
Commander; still inert with his glare fixed on the viewscreen.
Obviously he would be a prime person to hone in on and examine.
After all, the man was in charge of the entire ship while the Captain
was engaged with business on the surface of Cardassia. Then again,
wouldn?t the person or thing that was digging for stuff be more
interested in the status and people of the away team?
watched the remaining file had yet to be decoded. His heart pumped
harder and harder as his eyes seemed unable to be torn from the
monitor. He could feel himself beginning to sweat, even though he
didn?t care what position was in that remaining file. Josh wiped his
palms on his dress pants and then opened the last file. Again his
heart leaped into his throat. His palms gripped the console for
support. Something wasn?t right.
Reactivating the previous postings Josh realized that
there was a bond between all of the positions that were decoded.
Chief Tactical Officer, Chief Security Officer, Assistant Security
Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Science Officer, Executive
Officer, and Commanding Officer ? they were all apart of the away
team or the command staff onboard the ship. This was startling and
that away team could be in great danger. Josh spun on his heels and
faced Commander Andros.
?Commander, sir, we?ve got a big
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