Previous Next

Behind The Scenes

Posted on Dec 02, 2015 @ 12:52am by Captain Kassandra Thytos
Edited on on Dec 02, 2015 @ 12:53am

Mission: Civil War

"Behind the Scenes"

(Cont. "The Phoenix Gambit")

* * *=/\=* * *

Location: USS Phoenix

Stardate: 2.151201.2039

Scene: Engineering

Massimo and Kuenzi pounded down the hallway and wrenched the cover of the Jeffries tube open at the end of the corridor. They entered the tube and hustled down the narrow space, lugging two cases of equipment behind them. As they reached a downward hatch they attached a climbing rope and rappelling equipment to the uppermost rung and snapped it to the attachment on their armor. In a headlong rush they began their descent to the bottom of the tubes, one after the other. At the bottom they unclipped, triggered the anchor, and recoiled the rope, before continuing through the tubes again. Pia kicked out the hatch at the end, and entered the upper ring of Engineering. Several Marines and security guards were on the lower levels, opening up their equipment crates and setting up extra shields around the warp core and weapons emplacements.

Standing in the midst of it all, expression set in the omnipresent frown that had been a cornerstone of her face since the escape from LIMBO. In one hand she held a stopwatch. As each team finished putting together their hardware, they let out a piercing whistle to signal their readiness. Next to him, Kuenzi rapidly opened the boxes and assembled a sniper rifle. Massimo helped her to get it into position, and then whistled sharply. A few more whistles followed, and the tiny Major nodded decisively triggering the stopwatch.

“Better, still not great. Fourteen minutes, twenty-seven seconds for you all to get yer asses down here and get it all set up. In that time a landin’ party coulda taken over Engineerin’. Took me eleven to get down here, but I’m gonna go easy on you all: I want you all to get that down to twelve even. Alright. Break, and get yourself back to normal operations, but be listenin’ for my call. We’re gonna get you all so familiar with this here ship you’re gonna be able to sleepwalk through it.” The woman bellowed to her personnel and turned to the large, long-haired security chief. He gesticulated, evidently unhappy with her running his people ragged. She threw up her hands in annoyance. Massimo glanced at Kuenzi who rolled her eyes and shrugged. Security, weaklings, whiny milk-fed children. She thought the Major was entirely correct- with such a large amount of the Marines and Security officers being new to the ship, forced drills to get them to navigate to remote locations was of tantamount importance. The Security Chief said something else, and the petite redhead rolled her eyes, assiduously avoiding the appearance of looking directly at him..

Kuenzi cocked one eyebrow and wiggled it in a movement loaded with insinuation. They’d both noticed that the relationship between their Commanding Officer and the Security Chief had become somewhat strained from what it had been just after he’d saved her life on LIMBO, but they were at a disagreement as to why it was. Massimo thought it was a turf war between the two, with the Major unwilling to cede responsibilities and control that she’d assumed since they’d gone on the run. Kuenzi on the other hand, thought that the chill was of a more personal nature, insisting that the Major had either made a pass at the Chief and been turned down, or that she hadn’t been turned down, but that the resulting encounter had been mutually unsatisfying.

Whatever the reason, Massimo couldn’t help but admit he thought the Security Chief had a point. Major Thytos was busting their asses, and had been since she recovered from her injury on LIMBO. The only thing that kept the Marines from beginning to resent her pushing them to the breaking point was that whatever switch had flipped in her head on LIMBO had caused her to work herself just as hard, if not harder. She was up before they were, in the gym before PT, did PT, did her shift, then was back in the gym until just before lights out.

Kuenzi finished up packing the sniper rifle and nudged him with the box. Massimo cheered up. Unknown to Major Thytos, Gunny Bellecotte had arranged a social of sorts in the Vulgar Tribble for the Marines to help sweeten their mood after all their scrambles. It was sorely needed, but not necessarily because of the tension among the Marines. The Marines now on board had come from dozens of ships in the fleet, and very few of them had worked together before.

It was a problem the entire ship was facing- the departments were now made up of whomever could be spared from the Loyalist fleet. There was no proper rhythm, no connections between them, and people were still trying to sort out exactly what their place in the order of things was. Heads had already butted a few times in the Marine Barracks, with several of the more aggressive, lower-ranking Marines attempting to gain the distinction of top dog among their peers. It was typical teenage posturing, expected from the fresh-faced privates, but Major Thytos had put an end to that rather quickly. Her chosen example had been one Butch Cain, a meat-headed man, barely out of his teens, all muscle, no brains, with a loud mouth. He’d been posturing and bragging to the other privates in the main gym when Kassandra sauntered over, dressed in Starfleet issue PT garb.

Unimpressed look on her face she’d goaded him with verbal barbs, taunting him and casting aspersions on his physique and talents. He’d responded by getting loud and angry, at which point Major Thytos bet him she could beat him in a fight. He’d scoffed and postured, then agreed with a sneer, promising to ‘be gentle.’ The Major had then proceeded to clean the floor with him, and then Gunny Bellecotte had sauntered over nonchalantly and revealed her identity as Butch’s Commanding Officer. The quiet smirk that passed between the Major and the Sergeant told Kuenzi and Massimo that this was something they’d done dozens of times. Taking troublemakers down a notch while simultaneously demonstrating the Major’s prowess so there would be no doubts about why exactly she’d managed to reach her rank. You had to admire efficiency.

Massimo slung the bag of ammo and gear over his shoulder and they headed off to the Vulgar Tribble.

* * *=/\=* * *

Scene: Engineering.

Time Index: After "Interphase"

Ensign Asta Elgin watched the Chief of Engineering working in one of the sterile clean rooms used for working with delicate computer components. She bit her lip and stared, trying not to look creepy. The man got enough of that from Lieutenant Rochemonte, who clearly had either a crush or a healthy dose of hero-worship. Asta swallowed. She knew she’d come on at a bad time, but she hadn’t managed to have an audience with her new boss yet. Although, maybe that was by design, she thought sourly. Maybe he’d been on the receiving end of her aunt’s ‘charm’ and was purposely avoiding her. She glanced around again, fingering the pip at her throat nervously. Since she’d arrived in Engineering she hadn’t seen any other officers besides herself, Lieutenant Rochemonte, Ensign Maynell, and the Gorn, Chaucer. This meant that theoretically she should be in charge of something, but she’d hadn’t really done much beyond a large amount of paperwork, and assigning people to departments within Engineering based on their resumes. Boring stuff, basically, that the Operations officers should have taken care of, if their department hadn’t been in disarray as well. Apparently assignments had fallen through the cracks as they rushed to figure out who was in charge of what in their own department. It was a necessary evil, and she was glad to do what she could to get the department up and running, but she wanted… More than that? She’d been on the cusp of something great just before her world had come tumbling down around her ears, she’d been accepted into the Daystrom Institute for a rather prestigious fellowship in computing and robotics before she’d been taken to the internment camp. She was damned if she was going to fade into obscurity as a behind-the-scenes engineering assistant.

Besides which, Commander Crichton must be doing something with computers, and that was her area of expertise. She went into the vestibule and suited up, waiting for the scrubbers to neutralize any chemicals or airborne particles she might had have tracked in. The vestibule’s air was sterilized and filtered and the chime sounded to let her know she was clear to enter the main lab. She tapped on the glass briskly and the Commander looked up, quizzically. He took in her suit, and then waved her in. She frowned as the door opened and she realized the room was under negative pressure. That wasn’t SOP for working with computers, but it was for infectious biological materials.

“Hi. What can I do you for?” The Commander’s voice was polite, cheerful, but clipped. She suspected the cheerfulness was reflexive. The scruffy looking man working next to the Commander stopped what he was doing and looked her over appreciatively with what was almost, but not quite, a leer. She ignored the second man and turned her attention over to the Commander again.

“I’m Asta, Ensign Asta Elgin?” Asta said tentatively. The name didn’t cause the briefest flicker of recognition in the man’s blue eyes, and Asta found herself relieved. He didn’t know who her Aunt was after all. Kassandra didn’t mean for it to happen, but she was the sort of woman who tended to strongly color people’s impression of her niece and nephew. “I guess I’m Sylvia Warren’s replacement-”

“You lucky bastard, Jake! How come you get all the hotties in your department?” The second man whistled. “I mean, I have that new girl, and she’s out of this world but you? You have two red-heads, and your wife is gone-”

“I’m more a strawberry blonde. If you’re going to be crass the least you could do is be accurate,” Asta interrupted flippantly, scrutinizing the second man more closely, intrigued and annoyed. Intrigued because it was odd to find a Human in Starfleet so unrepentantly offensive, and annoyed because she didn’t really want the comments about her appearance to be what stuck in Commander Crichton’s head. “You have got to be Doctor Foster, I’ve been warned about you, though I do have to say you’re really living up to the hype. You’re going to have to try a lot harder than that if you want to shock or offend me.” Asta turned her attention back to the Commander. “Commander Crichton, I also happen to be a computer systems and robotics specialist, and I’m guessing that I could be of help here, and I’d much rather do this and hand off the rosters and rotations I’ve been working on for the department to someone else.” He didn’t say anything for a moment and looked back down at the display in front of him, and she thought it was a refusal of her help. “Sir, I know I’m intruding, but I did… Well before all this I *was* at the Daystrom Institute, I really do have the background to help you-”

He looked back up for her, looking a bit startled, and then held one hand up to stop her and grinned as he handed her a PADD.

“Relax Asta, I was just bringing up the information we have so far on what we’re working on. How much do you know about Nano-technology? And please, call me Jake.”

She cast her eyes down onto the padd, scanning the contents quickly, her eyes flicking between the jar on the table and the data in front of her.

“No can do, Sir. But I can manage a Boss or Chief if that sits better with you,” Asta smiled back. His agreeableness was infectious. “What exactly do you want to do with these things anyway? No offense but they sound a little bit dodgy- Borg technology is spectacularly temperamental at the best of times.”

He outlined the plan, with Cade Foster interjecting every so often, and Asta nodded, seeing where this was going. Her fingers began to dance over the computer controls before they had finished talking, beginning to create a program for the loyalist ships to run and transmit. The Commander leaned over her shoulder, excitedly pointing to lines of code and suggesting improvements. Three hours later they had a workable plan to protect the Loyalist fleet.

Instead of acting as a virus, infecting and attacking ships indescriminately, the nanites would instead act like white blood cells, attacking only “foreign” technology- basically anything that wasn’t running the program and resonance that the nanites recognized as ‘theirs.’ It would also solve the problem of how to keep the nanites from tearing through the entire Neo-Essentialist fleet- the moment a surrender was brokered, the program could be transmitted to the rest of the fleet, and the nanites would stop attacking them.

Now someone had to do the hard part- get the nanites onto the Neo-Essentialist ships.

* * *=/\=* * *

Brought to you by:

Alix Fowler


Massimo and Kuenzi

Double trouble


Asta Elgin



Previous Next