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Hunting For Evidence

Posted on Jan 28, 2018 @ 3:38am by Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Edited on on Jan 28, 2018 @ 3:39am

Mission: Bramatine: Truth, Justice and the Federation Way

“Hunting for Evidence”

(contd from ‘Power for Sale’)

****************************
Location: USS CAIRO
SD: [2.18] 0125.2208
Scene: Main Engineering

Sgt. Saul Curly was right. Jasmine furrowed her brow, watching the Caitian with suspicion. This was too easy. She wondered why the files were only available now and not when Ryan was scouring the databases for them. A bigger question was that the documents were only available after the chief engineer granted her authorization. Kane’s orders were clear - grant access to everything on the ship’s database to Ryan and herself and it was clear C’asi was obstructing the investigation by restricting the files to anyone besides herself and likely the CO and ExO. Right now, Lynette was pouring through the records, her eyes narrowed and fixed on the screen.

“What did you find, Ensign?” Jasmine inquired, moving to stand behind the engineer.

Lynette sighed. “Regular reports on the mines. Apparently, the Cairo engineering staff had regularly conducted inspection of the mines and everything seems to be in order for the records prior to the earthquake…”

“Uh oh, I sense a…but.” Lt. Moe Modesta’s eyes widened. The two security officers stood next to the Phoenix duo as their escorts. Curly stood a few feet back, leaning against the wall.

Yu asked, “Is the report there?”

“Well…” The assistant engineer frowned. “Sort of.”

“What do you mean?” The Asian woman raised an eyebrow.

Moe shook his head, leaning forward. “Nah. Don’t you remember? The ogre didn't put the report into the system. You ain't gonna find it in there.”

Ryan cleared her throat, glancing behind her shoulder. “Well, there is a memo on the inspection conducted at the Hungry Pits following the earthquake, but no detailed reports and this memo indicates the structural integrity was sound.” She shrugged, her eyes shining with skepticism. “And that’s not correct and doesn’t match what Commander Crichton’s and Dr. Foster’s accounts.”

Jasmine lowered her voice to avoid being eavesdropped. “They falsified the results and put that report on the system.”

“Yes.” Lynette nodded.

Jasmine sighed, turning to the security officers. “And here I was hoping the chief engineer had developed a conscience and decided to include the actual report in the database.”

“Nah.” Lt. Larry Todd, Jr. shook his head. “The ogre? Not a chance.”

Lynette muttered under her breath, turning her attention to the screen, “I can see why she’s called the ogre.”

Curly pushed himself away from the wall and headed over to the group. “Alright, time to go get the steak.” The marine stopped next to the Phoenix security chief. “Cook’s busy in the kitchen right now and the dog’s playing with toys.”

Jasmine wore a confused expression. The MCO wasn’t making sense though she figured out he was speaking in some kind of code to hide his true message. She sighed, wishing he had warned her ahead of time but decided to just roll with the act. “Steak? I’m a vegetarian.” The Asian figured steak was code for report.

“Oh, you’re one of them veggies,” the marine scoffed, though if one looked closer they could see a hint of a grin. “Ma’am, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

Yu grinned, taking on a more casual tone in her voice. “Oh, I’m totally fine with that.”

Curly shrugged. “Suit yourself but you know what I really mean - a really juicy steak that one of those two idiots hid somewhere on the ship.” He feigned a glare at Todd and Modesta.

“I see what you mean, Sergeant.” Jasmine smiled before turning to the Phoenix’s assistant engineer. “You’re clear on your role in this plan…to ask the cook about the veggies, while we get the steak?” She hoped the young woman understood the real meaning behind the code. Prior to their arrival at Engineering, Yu, Ryan and the Cairo officers had formulated a plan to obtain the report, which involved Lynette speaking to the chief engineer with Curly and either Moe or Larry there with her. Jasmine and one of the two security officers would go around Main Engineering.

Lynette nodded, sporting a perplexed expression, glancing briefly at their three allies. “Yes, Lieutenant.”

Moe poked his finger on Larry’s shoulder. “Okay, pal, hop right to it.”

“Nah.” Larry poked him back. “You go on ahead.”

“Why me?” Moe whined. “Why must I always go?” He shoved at the other man’s shoulder. “No, you go.”

Larry responded with a smack to the other man’s head. “You go, idiot.”

“No, you’re the idiot.” Moe yelled, slapping Larry’s head and the two went back and forth with the head smacking, while hurling insults at the same time. They were beginning to draw attention as many of the engineering staff turned to the squabbling security officers. Jasmine frowned, wondering if Moe and Larry were going overboard and could get some unwanted attention towards them like maybe that Talaxian security chief coming down here to break them up. Luckily for her, the MCO seemed to have been having the same concerns as she watched him rush up to them.

Curly pulled Larry away from Moe. “Hey, cut it out, you two.” The tall marine glanced around, noticing the intense looks in the engineers’ eyes, announced in a stern voice. “Nothing to see her, folks. These two just need to cool off a bit.” At once, everyone returned back to work and Jasmine let out a sigh of relief.

Yu walked up to Moe and suggested, “Perhaps some time apart should calm them down and they can use it to reflect on their behaviour.”

“Good idea.” Curly nodded, giving Todd a light punch to the shoulder. “And I’ll give this one here a good talking to.”

“Ow, that hurts.” Larry scowled, rubbing his shoulder, where the marine’s fist made contact.

Curly snapped, “Don’t be a sissy, Lieutenant and just be glad you aren’t a marine. Oh boy! You’d get a beating.”

Jasmine waved at her security escort. “Come on, Lieutenant Modesta, let’s go take a walk.”

“Ah alright.” Moe joined the Asian as they began moving with the man glancing behind, his gaze on Larry. At the same time, the two winked so fast that if one blinked, they missed seeing it.

Jasmine shook her head, wondering how she and Lynette were going to complete their mission with those two assisting them. But Moe and Larry as well as Curly, the only sane one in the trio, were their only allies in a nest of vipers - not that everyone on the CAIRO were involved in the conspiracy. There were others on this ship not party to the corruption but either they were unaware or too scared to speak up. Yu wasn’t sure what to make of C’asi. Did the Caitian just follow orders to not let the report see the light of day or was part of the gang? Regardless of where C’asi’s allegiance laid, she was still an obstacle to their mission and would do what it took to obstruct them.

She followed Moe through rows of consoles, even circling around the warp core. Many amongst the engineering staff, glanced in their direction, some out of curiosity, others radiated nervousness, while there were those who just ignored them, focusing on their work. Where was he taking her? They stopped in front of a grey door.

“Wait here,” Moe said in a low voice. He inputted some codes on the panel to the side and the door slid open. The security officer went inside a small room, the door sliding shut behind him.

“Hello,” came a male, alerting the Phoenix security chief to the presence of a tall, Betazoid male with long brown hair and green eyes. The two solid gold pips on his blue collar indicated he was a Lieutenant in the science department. Jasmine recalled from the crew manifest that he was the Cairo’s chief science officer and kept her guard up as she wasn’t sure whether he was a collaborator in the conspiracy.

Jasmine greeted, “Lieutenant.”

The Betazoid’s mouth curled into a smile. “Lieutenant Yu, nice to finally meet you. I am Lieutenant Cam Boole, the chief science officer.”

A friendly face in the senior staff, well besides Curly. That was refreshing, considering her encounters with the CO, ExO, heads of security and engineering were less than pleasant. However, Yu decided to err on the side of caution, dealing with Boole, who might just be trying a different tactic to obstruct their investigation. “It’s nice meeting you too, Lieutenant,” she said with a modicum of politeness in her voice.

He offered, “Well, if you need anything or have questions regarding my department, my doors are open to you.” His smile widened.

“Thank you.” Jasmine nodded.

“Anyway, I have a meeting with Commander C’asi, so I will take my leave.” Boole, still smiling, walked past her in the direction towards the chief engineer’s office, which was at the other side of Main Engineering and on a different deck.

A whooshing sound from behind made Jasmine turn on her heel. The door parted, where Moe stepped out, carrying a PADD in his hand and wore a big grin. “Got it,” he whispered, waving the PADD at her.

Jasmine sighed, glancing around with a concerned look in her brown eyes. “We need to conceal it.”

“I know how.” Moe quickly placed the PADD under his jacket and put his arms around his chest to hold it in place. “There, safe and sound.”

“You!” One of the engineers called out. The new arrival was a young Bajoran female - the single pip on her collar indicated she was an Ensign. The Asian woman noticed the Bajoran’s attention was directed at Moe, who grinned at her. “Why were you in that room? You don’t have the clearance to go inside.”

“You don’t have the clearance to go inside, *sir*,” Moe said in a calm voice, though there was a hint of smile forming at the corner of his lips. “See my pips here, I outrank you, Ensign.”

The engineer glowered at him and continued in a sharp tone, not at all bothered about his higher rank. “Lieutenant, what were you doing in a restricted area?”

Jasmine intervened, “Ensign, why is this room restricted?”

“I’m under orders to not reveal that information, Lieutenant,” the Bajoran said in a crisp tone.

“By Commander C’asi?”

“I said too much already,” the Ensign pushed past them and walked at an increased pace to be as far as away as possible from the duo.

Moe urged, turning his head from left to right, “We need to hurry, That Ensign is already running to ogre to tell her I broke into the secret room.” At Jasmine’s nod, they began moving.

-----------------

Lynette argued, gesturing at the screen, “Commander, why are all the regular reports on the mines fully detailed but the report on the structural integrity, immediately following the earthquake, is just a summary of findings.” She gazed intently at the Caitian. “Is there a complete report?”

C’asi’s expression darkened, her black eyes narrowing as she caressed her long, golden brown mane. “That is the complete report.” Her tone was curt.

“That’s not possible.”

The Caitian released a low growl, her eyes burning with anger. In a deep voice, she admonished the young woman. “You dare lecture me, a Lt. Commander with over 15 years’ experience, about procedures. A mere Ensign at that.” She snorted. “You must have only recently graduated from the Academy.”

“Ma’am, I was merely pointing…” Lynette clenched her fists, when the Cairo officer interrupted her.

“How does your superior tolerate such insubordination from you, “Ensign*?” She emphasized the word, ‘Ensign’ to remind Ryan of her lower rank. “If it were up to me, you’d be reassigned to scrubbing the Jeffries tubes. Your chief is too lenient on you.”

Lenient. Malin-Argo. Lynette stifled a chuckle and trying to keep calm amidst the barrage of insults, released by the feline officer. “My superior officer is anything but lenient, Commander.”

“I find that hard to believe. Here, I expect my staff to be in excellent shape, otherwise they will pay the consequences.”

“Is there a problem,” Jasmine inquired, having just recently arrived with Moe.

“Yes,” C’asi replied, her voice filled with contempt for the Phoenix officers. “It appears there is a lack of respect displayed by officers on the Phoenix towards their superiors. Your Captain must be very lax with discipline. Ensign Ryan’s behaviour would never be tolerated here.”

Yu bit her lip. Well, it was good thing her CO wasn’t here to hear the Caitian insult him and his crew like the way she did. “I don’t understand, Commander. Has Ensign Ryan or myself done or said something to offend you?” Before the chief engineer could answer, a loud meow was heard and it wasn’t pleasant to the ear. The three women glanced in the direction of the voice and their gaze stopped on Larry, giving them a big grin.

“What was that?” C’asi was now glaring at him.

Larry shrugged, continuing to grin at her. “Nothing. Just wondering if you got some milk.”

“Milk?!?” Now the Caitian was enraged, her voice raised. “You think I’m like those Terran cats?!? How dare you perpetuate such stereotype against me?”

“Well, what’s wrong in being compared to a cat?” Moe shrugged, speaking in a casual tone. “They’re cute. So you’re cute.” C’asi’s eyes were shooting daggers at him. “Or would you prefer we call you a lioness…you know a lioness with hair?”

Larry burst out in laughter, leaning forward and slapping his own knee. “Lioness with hair…That’s so funny…”

“Hey, knock it out, you two,” Curly warned, when the Caitian’s fury was rising inside, judging from her piercing glare.

Lynette commented with sarcasm, “And here I thought only the Phoenix officers showed no respect for their superiors.” But only Jasmine heard her comment and nodding in agreement.

C’asi inhaled a deep breath before exhaling and was snide in her remarks. “You’re all wasting my time here. I have an engine room to run. The ship will not fly by itself after all.” She began moving away. “And Lieutenants Todd, Modesta. I will make sure to file a complaint to Lieutenant Jeemix about your insolent behaviour towards me.” She then walked away at a brisk pace.

Jasmine sighed, watching the Caitian’s retreating back for a moment before returning her attention to the group. “We should go back to the Phoenix and hand the report to the Captain.”

“Good idea.” Curly nodded.

“I’m ready.” Lynette let out a sigh of exasperation. “It’s finally nice to be leaving this ship with most of the people here so hostile.”

“You know,” Jasmine said. “That Chief Science Officer seemed friendly to me.” She raised an eyebrow, when Moe, Larry and Curly gasped at the same time. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh no! She met the snooper.” Moe’s eyes widened.

“Not the snooper.” Larry smacked the back of the other security officer’s head. “How could you let her meet the snooper?”

“Hey, don’t do that.” Moe returned the favour.

Jasmine raised her voice, inquiring, “Who’s the snooper?”

Curly sighed, giving her a solemn look. “Lieutenant Boole. I’m sorry, ma’am, it looks like he may have, you know, took a peek in your head.”

Yu’s expression paled, realizing the Betazoid could have sensed her thoughts and emotions and was onto their plan. Oh she should have been more careful but then she had no defense against a telepath. “So he could have figured out our plan to get the report and told someone.”

“Yep, I bet he already told the dog everything,” Curly said. “He was the one who snitched about Hawkins.”

Jasmine glanced back and forth between Lynette and the three men. “Let’s head to the transporter room.”

-----------------------
Scene: Transporter Room

As Jasmine and Lynette stepped on the platform, the MCO cleared his throat. Yu stopped mid-way. “Sergeant?”

Curly informed, handing her a data crystal. “Here’s the little information I have on the Cairo’s operation and the Pangeos Pathways. It’s not much but it’s a start for an investigation.”

“Thanks.” Jasmine nodded, eyeing the crystal and glanced at Ryan, who was clutching the PADD, containing the inspection report in her hands. Moe had handed it to her, when they were in the turbo lift. “Will you be okay? You’re all now in danger for helping us. Are you sure you won’t change your mind and come with us to our ship?”

“Don’t worry about us, ma’am.” Curly gave her a warm smile. “My marines are loyal to me and will not let Jeemix or any of her dogs to even get close to us. Besides, I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other soon.”

Jasmine returned the smile. “Perhaps.” She watched Larry step behind the console.

“Ready when you are?”

The security chief tapped on her comm badge. “Yu to Phoenix.”

[[Phoenix here,]] came a reply from Kane. [[Report.]]

Jasmine informed, “Captain, we have obtained the inspection report as well as some other information and are now on our way back to the ship.”

[[Understood, Phoenix out.]]

“Okay, we’re ready.” Jasmine addressed the security officer. A moment later, the two Phoenix officers were engulfed in bluish hue light and vanished.

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


~*~
Ranjani S.
Writing for

Lieutenant Jasmine Yu
Chief of Security and Tactical
USS PHOENIX




 

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