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What Secrets Does The Cairo Hold?

Posted on Jan 06, 2018 @ 4:59am by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Jan 06, 2018 @ 4:59am

Mission: Bramatine: Truth, Justice and the Federation Way

“What Secrets does the Cairo hold?”
(contd from Kenneth’s ‘Run Silent’)

Location: USS CAIRO
SD: [2.18] 0105.2230
Scene: Transporter Room-> Corridor

Bluish hue beams appeared, illuminating the Horizon-class vessel’s transporter room, only to dissipate to reveal four Starfleet officers – two of whom belonged to the smaller starship. Captain Leki and Commander Roffahg stepped down from the platform, the Roylan CO acknowledging a male Bajoran transporter operator. Lieutenant Jasmine Yu followed them off the platform, along with Ensign Lynette Ryan, the assistant chief engineer.

Initially, Ryan was assigned to the away team with Jake Crichton and Cade Foster that would transport down to the planet to make an assessment of the mine. However, Kane, realizing the aCEO’s strong expertise with computer systems, would make her a valuable asset to dig through information on the Cairo’s system, had her switched to Yu’s team.

“Come,” Captain Leki said, making her way to the doors, which parted to let them through to the hallway.

Hardly a minute on the ship and already the Asian woman sensed a lingering tension in the air. Jasmine expected the presence of the Phoenix officers on the Cairo was not welcomed by its crew and this was just from observing the demeanors of the Captain and the first officer. Leki was hard to read, her deep onyx eyes resembling shiny black gemstones inserted into a piece of jewellery that revealed nothing. The Roylan played the part of a diplomat, acting formal and professional. However, the ExO, Roffahg, was another story. The Tellarite seemed to be against the whole idea and one needn’t be a telepath to figure that out. The shorter woman’s stiff body language and fixed stares towards the Phoenix duo gave the former’s hostility away. But as soon as they left the transporter room, Roffahg separated from them to head elsewhere.

As the group walked down the corridor, they passed by a number of officers and crewpersons. Yu began feeling a sense of discomfort, when she met the gazes of some of the Cairo personnel. Some of them immediately looked away, increasing their pace to distance themselves from the visitors. Others glanced back at them with darkened or concerned expressions, nervousness in their body languages or cold stares. Something wasn’t right on this ship. Sure, she and Ryan weren’t expecting a welcoming committee to greet them and on a Starfleet vessel, most officers either acknowledged or ignored them because of duties to attend to. But reactions filled with anxiety, suspicion or even hostility was unheard of, well except during the whole Neo-Essentialist crisis, and this worried Yu. There was something eerily wrong here and they needed to remove the veil of secrecy.

They reached the turbo lift and stepped inside it. Leki ordered, “Bridge.”

---------------------------
Scene: Bridge

Leki led the Phoenix team inside the bridge, which as compared to the galaxy class dreadnaught, was quite small. It had been a while since Yu set foot on a smaller starship. The last time she was in something akin to a Horizon class vessel, was during her childhood, when her parents served on a science scout. However, it wasn’t the size of the starship that was making her uneasy. She noticed the weary looks from the bridge crew in their direction. There was one that caught her attention – a man in a marine’s uniform watching them like a hawk, wearing the rank insignia of a First Sergeant. Jasmine raised an eyebrow. Jasmine wondered, just how paranoid the crew of the Cairo were about the investigation.

Captain Leki turned to her guests and mustered up a weak smile, “Lieutenant Yu, Ensign Ryan, you can use our auxiliary stations here in the bridge.”

“Thank you, Captain.” Jasmine maintained a calm, professional and firm tone. While the security chief had her orders to make sure the Cairo crew would cooperate fully with the investigation, she had to walk a fine line and avoid saying anything to disrespect the CO. After all both outranked her. “As per Captain Kane’s orders, I’d like to remind you to allow us, complete access to everything on your system.”

“Yes, of course, Lieutenant,” the Roylan said. “You will have our full cooperation and my crew will be available to answer any and all your questions.” If one listened closely, then they’d find traces of bitterness in her voice. Despite her polite demeanor, it was obvious Leki wasn’t too happy about a mere Lieutenant exercising her authority in this investigation.

A Talaxian woman approached the group and informed in curt voice, not bothering to hide her distaste towards the Phoenix officers, “Your stations are over there. If you leave the bridge to go anywhere on this ship, you will be provided security escorts.” From the glimpse of the red shirt, a gold and hollow pip pinned on her collar, Yu deduced the officer to likely be her counterpart with the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade.

“Escorts? Why?” Ryan arched a brow.

The Talaxian said, her mildly harsh tone indicating she didn’t appreciate the Ensign’s question, “Lieutenant Jeemix, chief of security and tactical. The escorts are for your protection.” Jeemix looked to be well built, more muscular and inch or two shorter than the Phoenix Sec/Tac.

Yu said, also as confused as the engineer, “Protection for what? This is a Starfleet vessel and we are all Starfleet officers.”

“Not just for protection.” This was the Roylan’s attempt to smoothen the tension, caused by her security chief’s slip of tongue. “But think of them as a guide to take you to wherever you need or want to go on this ship. I mean, after all, you are all new here and certainly not familiar with our vessel.”

“Captain, we appreciate your consideration but we can manage on our own,” Jasmine said, knowing fully well that the Roylan wasn’t being forthcoming. ”Also, Captain, we’d like to use one of your conference rooms.”

“Yes.” Leki nodded and turning to the Talaxian. “Lieutenant, please escort our guests to the conference room.”

“Yes Captain.” Turning to the Phoenix officers, Jeemix gestured towards her. “Follow me.”

------------------------------
Scene: Conference Room

As soon as Jeemix left them alone, Lynette pulled out a chair and sat down. The young woman let out a sigh of exasperation. “What was all that about?” The engineer’s expression was mix of confusion and annoyance.

Jasmine took the chair beside the engineer and sighed, pulling a strand of hair behind her ear. She understood what Lynette meant. The nervousness, suspicion and a little hostility that radiated from the Cairo crew, disturbed her. “They don’t want us here.”

“You mean, they are upset over the audit?” Lynette raised an eyebrow. “Why? Are they hiding something?”

“They are definitely unhappy about the audit.” Jasmine nodded. The Cairo most likely assumed, the Phoenix was here to assist them and didn’t really expect Captain Kane to assert his authority the way he did, which led to ordering the computer systems audit. Well, what did Leki and her crew really expect? That Kane would just let the matter slide. Even the biggest idiot in the universe would have realized that wasn’t going to happen, not when the Acamarians used child labour to mine bramantine, which apparently the Cairo had done nothing about it. That seriously made the security chief fume inside after all child labour wasn’t allowed under Federation law and Acamar was in the process of applying for Federation membership. Then there was the cave in at the Hungry Pits mines, which resulted in the deaths of many children and it bothered Yu that the Cairo crew seemed a little nonchalant about it – apparently more outraged at the auditing of their computers.

“Honestly, if they don’t have anything to hide, then they really have nothing to worry...” The Asian’s voice trailed at the end.

“I sense a…but coming.”

“Well,” Jasmine began, glancing around the room. “Sadly, I believe the Cairo may be covering up something. Something’s not right here. The Cairo was tasked with assisting the Acamarians with their Federation application but it looks like they weren’t effective in their job. The Acamarians still use children for labour, not to mention that mining disaster.”

“So in other words, they could be covering up for their incompetence or something more…” Lynette lowered her voice to a whisper. “More sinister.”

“Yes, I’m afraid, either they are covering up their mistakes or it’s something else altogether.”

Ryan asked, “Lieutenant, what are we looking for here?”

Jasmine kept her voice low. “A link between the Cairo and Pangeos Pathways. We search their databases for records of meetings, communications logs – basically any evidence that links this crew to that company.” There were just so many questions surrounding the Horizon class starship’s activities and their suspected connection to the company.

“Got it.” Lynette nodded.

Jasmine stood up. “Alright, let’s go digging.” Lynette got up as well.

Ryan asked as they made their way towards the exit, “Lieutenant, do you believe the security escorts were just to act as our guides?” She had a skeptical look in her eyes.

“No,” came a prompt reply from the security chief.

-----------------------------
Scene: Bridge
TI: Sometime later

“Lieutenant Yu.” Jasmine’s gaze shifted from the screen to the aCEO, who was wearing a puzzled expression.

“Did you find anything?”

Lynette nodded. “Well, I was going through their communications logs and found a couple of files were deleted.” She shifted her chair slightly to make room for the security chief, the latter leaning forward to take a look.

Jasmine furrowed her brow. “This isn’t good.” The Asian woman turned around to see if there was anyone she could query about the missing files. “They better have a good explanation.”

“And that’s not all,” Ryan brought up. “I found numerous files throughout their databases that were deleted or corrupted and…”

“Is there a problem?” The two women glanced behind, spotting the MCO, his hulking figure towering over them. Jasmine sighed, recalling from the ship’s manifest that he was Sgt. Curly – the same guy who had been watching them so intently or if he wasn’t there, one of his subordinates did it.

Jasmine, in a calm and professional tone, inquired, “Well, Ensign Ryan and I noticed some files were deleted or corrupted. Any idea what happened?”

“Oh.” Curly stroked his chin, deep in thought. “Just before your ship’s arrival, we had an issue with the computers…like there was some big glitch that could have accidently deleted or corrupted those files.” He shrugged. “Sorry, not much help. I’m not really an expert with computers. You may have to speak with the Chief Engineer here.”

“Well, thanks for your help, Sergeant.”

“No problem.” He just left them and returned to his station.

“A glitch?” Lynette lowered her voice, sounding skeptical. “Do you buy that?”

Jasmine shook her head. “No. It seems a little too convenient.”

*************************************************************************************

~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical
USS PHOENIX

 

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