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SD241812.23 - Joint Duty Log - Smith & Diangelo - "Need something?"

Posted on 241812.23 @ 18:07 by Lieutenant Commander John Smith & Ensign Amelia Diangelo

Mission: Lacuna
Location: USS Vindicator
Timeline: Before the captives were rescued.

=^= Corridor =^=

Beta shift was rolling to an end, and a dozen crewmen had gathered to banter. Some were off to bed, while some planned a night of booze and cards. Nobody had adventure in store, not after the long day they'd had. While the details of the officers plans rarely filtered this far down the chain, people could sense that something was up, and the tension was palpable. Idle gossip said many things, most of them clear fabrications. The more ludicrous suggestions involved a Q, seven midgets, and the letter R. As the group's chatter warmed to the topic, a gentle vibration in the deck plating indicated the arrival of a turbolift.

The doors opened, and out stepped a diplomat.

Parting like the red sea, the crewmen made way for the officer. The man had a red face, a tired expression, and he was carrying a small padd at the end of one listless arm. Some of the crewmen empathised with his plight, knowing the feeling of a shift that just refused to end, and some respected the rank. Either way, none blocked the Lt Commander's path, and soon the man was deep in the winding nest of samey corridors.

Soon enough, John reached the main entrance to the intelligence offices. He took a breath to center himself, spared a moment to glare at the padd in his hand, and thumbed the door chime.

Sitting behind a receptionist’s desk and hidden behind a large monitor was a young tired looking woman who was supporting her head in the palm of her hand while having her elbow on the desk, she appeared to be speed reading through a document that was being displayed on the screen. Upon hearing the door chime the girl wondered for a short second before opening the door by the push of a button.

John passed through the opening door without pause, turning sideways to slip through before the doors had opened fully. A quick glance around the room revealed the top of someone's head behind the receptionist's desk, and he made his way towards her.

"Excuse me, miss, are any intelligence officers available right now? I have a time-sensitive matter to discuss." he told her, trying to grab her attention with words and eye contact over the top of her screen.

Looking up over the screen at the tall man, Amelia moved her eyes slowly from left to right as she thought about if there was any one still in the office that was available, hearing the crickets starting to chirp in her head the young girl raised an eyebrow and casually shook her head. “No sir, I’m afraid everyone above my rank are either home or busy. Can I help you perhaps?”

"Ah, sure, why not." John decided, holding up his padd. "I have here an ident file for an on-hold call. The governor of Gelk, a small mining community, was recently contacted by my department. Since they've recently been expanding, they hired a security company to police their territory. We've reason to believe that they've been scanning ships as they pass through, and we've put in a request for any data from those scans that match the following signatures." he explained, putting the padd on her desk.

As well as a link to the on-hold call, the padd also contained a list of biological signatures, including rippleberries and various forms of seafood. For some reason, there was also a variety of edible eyeballs on the list.

"Simply put, the Governor has agreed to cooperate, but not with the Diplomatic Corps. He's insisted that he speak directly with an Intelligence Officer before releasing the files. I'm not sure why." he added, speaking frankly.

Looking down at the Padd, Amelia wasn’t sure if she had enough clearance to talk to this person, however with everyone being absent for the evening, she had to take a chance. “Maybe he knows that we have access to more detailed and sensitive information then the Diplomatic corp?” The younger girl speculated.

"Or maybe he's a raving egotist that believes his humdrum data is highly-classified to the point where only a ranking intelligence officer could possibly have clearance to read it." John replied bluntly, his tone sarcastic and his expression deadpan. The Governor had virtually reeked of self-importance, and had denied all efforts to access the files until John's subordinate had passed the call up the chain to him.

"It's not a top secret call." John clarified. "It's only encrypted with standard Federation cyphers, and the key is on the padd. Help me make this man shut up and hand over the data. Please?"

"Right.., just tell me this isn't going to get us into trouble?" The young girl asked while reaching for the padd. "Because I have enough as is and wish to avoid more.., trouble."

"Miss, this isn't an intelligence operation, with your winks and nods." said the Commander, unaware of what the Ensign was referring to, and unwilling to pry into whatever plausible deniability nonsense the shady figures in Intel were involved in.

"This is a formal request from one department to another, nothing illicit." he emphasized. "Here, I'll put a note in the records. If it all goes south, I'm the ranking officer, so it's on me. Does that make things easier for you?" he asked, thumbing a proof-of-request toggle on the padd before passing it over.

“Thank you sir, it’s nothing personal.” The young woman replied as she took the padd and accessed the key on it. “It’s just that the last time a superior officer asked me to perform a menial task , I didn’t cover myself well enough and got into a bit of a snag, but never mind that.” Amelia answered as she typed on her keyboard to retrieve the information.

Subroutines spun to life as the padd's data was retrieved, recognising the encrypted handshake of a comm channel on hold. Civilized programming danced a silent waltz as each department's authenti-codes were cross-checked, verified, and confirmed. With the call re-routed to the Intel offices, a live connection was formed to the "Hold Queue" of active channels available through the subspace comm array.

While gibberish at first, the liberal application of a standard colony cypher (for official business, like declarations of war, and ordering pizza) yeilded the rotating logo of the Gelk colony; three vertical green bars. Once the somewhat older hardware at the other end had figured out that the call wasn't on hold anymore, the logo was replaced by the pick-thin face of the colony Governor.

"About time!" A whiny, nasal voice declared, two slivers of affronted eyes glaring at the Intel officer before him. "Who are you then? Another lackey?"

A quick blink of her eyes as she was surprised by the sudden insult, "Excuse... You?" Amelia was tempted to close the channel as a response to the arrogance of the man but quickly dismissed the temptation and looked at the man before her with a raised eyebrow. "Seriously, what a joker..."

"A joker! Whaaaaaaaat? Am I being insulted here!?" The governor demanded to know, leaning forwards toward the camera.

John smiled thinly and let his hand cover the microphone for a moment.

"Yes, I know he's a pillock, but we need his data so please be nice." he advised Amelia, his calm tones an ill-fit for the irritated grimace that had flashed across his face at the sound of the governor's aggravated whining.

Shifting her gaze to the superior officer who had been standing beside her during the whole conversation. Amelia let out a short soft sigh while at almost the same time nodding as she understood the need to play nicer, “Very well sir, Let’s see how much blood this guy can suck from underneath our nails. Shall we?”

John nodded his assent, and removed his hand from the microphone so the Ensign could talk to the governor.

"Sir, I am Ensign Amelia Diangelo Intelligence officer on the Federation starship USS Vindicator and have an inquiry on my desk concerning a data requisition request from our diplomatic corp to your administration and that your administrationhas asked to speak to the Intelligence department concerning this request." The young girl said calmly with a slight smile.

"Finally! I'm the Grand High Overlord of Gelk, you know! Colony Chief, Master of Mining, and Supreme Commander of the Automated Legions! This information you've asked for is classified at the highest levels of secrecy, you know! It could topple governments! Destroy planets! It is valuable beyond compare, do you understand!?" he screeched, his eyeball nearly touching the camera as he leaned in towards the screen.

The more the man spoke and closer he got to the screen, the further away Amelia got. If anything the man in front of her was definitely good at exaggerating and apparently thinking mighty highly of himself. “Mister Gelk,” Amelia started with a straight face as she returned to her original position. “It is obvious that the data needs to be handled carefully so it will not fall into the wrong hands, surly you do not believe that our Intelligence department is that unprofessional, do you? And if you’d like I, personally can oversee the handling of the data to make sure it isn’t accessed by someone other than myself or Lieutenant Commander Smith.”

"Well, alright then." said the Governor, wrong-footed. This was the first time someone had listened to his entire monologue and taken him seriously, so he was suddenly lacking an excuse to complain. "I'm glad you're taking this seriously." he covered, attempting to puff himself up. "The data will be transferred to your ship. And now I have important business to attend to. Goodbye."

The channel closed a moment later, with the Governor bearing the slightly worried look of a clown who has suddenly found himself credible.

"Well done Ensign. Much obliged." said the Commander, giving the junior officer a nod. He collected his padd from her desk and walked out, sparing no time for pleasantries.

There were a million other tasks on his plate today, and the kidnapped officers were getting further away by the minute.

=^= End of Log =^=

Lieutenant Commander John Smith
Chief Diplomat
USS Vindicator


Ensign Amelia Diangelo
Intelligence Officer
USS Vindicator


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