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Joint Duty Log | Cmdr Dahe'el & SecO | "Liberty"

Posted on 02/20/2021 @ 4:54pm by Commander Almar Dahe'el & Commodore Rochelle Ivanova

Mission: Genesis

The air within the cargo bay was eerily still. Nothing moved. Nothing woke. Not a sound was to be heard. The lights seemed dimmer as if they too had shuddered and begun to mourn for the heap of metal that sat within it - or rather what that heap signified. Liberty had once been the site of so many wonders - so many adventures. So many firsts. For over ten years it had served two commands and survived some of the harshest conditions and situations the Vindicator had come to face.

Now it lay in ruin, torn apart… Torn to pieces. In some ways what was left of the main hull curled and coiled like the leaves of a lotus flower, reaching towards the light. If only it was to be just that… Instead the cruel reality of it all was that the runabout was now the herald of the end of an era and nothing more than bittersweet memories and secrets remained within the snarled remnants.

The sudden sound of slow footfalls nearly caused the young Security officer to jump out of his skin. Turning to face the source, he half expected to see a ghost - and in a way he did. “Sir.” He greeted, offering a quick salute to the Commander. Almar Dahe’el… Finally shirking his triangular routine of moving from quarters, to bridge, to ready room and back. Some had said he may try and steal away in the middle of the night to look upon the wreckage himself, when the rest of the ship was fast asleep or stuck on duty to bring them home to Cold Station Theta, “Is there something I can help you with?” Oh it sounded off and the Ensign nearly cringed. The ship was his. The wreckage was his. The loss… Mostly his, or so the rumors went.

Going through the motions had become habit for the Cardassian as he made his way through the cargo bay, he'd avoided this trip specifically because of what might be found amongst the wreckage that hadn't been found by Intelligence, he barely noticed the security officer as he passed and cast him a quick sideways glance as the junior officer jumped to attention and addressed him, "At ease." he replied with a quick nod as he made his way to the wreck and laid a heavy, grey scaled hand on the remnants of the hull, "I'm..." he began before trailing off again, how was he meant to answer that question?

"There is nothing, log my arrival and mark that I am beginning a full spectrum analysis of the remains of the Runabout Liberty." he continued as he knelt down next to a chest and pulled out a number of tricorders and scanners, setting them up to begin work on what was assumed to be the cockpit of the craft.

"Yes sir. I will." The Ensign nodded, quickly retrieving a PADD and entering the information as ordered. A quick glance to a nearby chronometer confirmed the time and that was the end of that paltry task. His interest failed to wane there, his eyes flicked over the hull and he leaned forward and tried to see exactly what the Cardassian was doing.

"I uhhh could offer a hand if you'd like." There was a fair bit of dried blood and heavy amounts of dust and bits of debris that made him uneasy, "Lot of sharp objects in there. Two heads and four hands might make safer work?"

The Cardassian glanced back over his shoulder, his braid swinging down his back heavily, "That won't be necessary, I've spent my life crawling around in smaller and more dangerous spaces, I'll be logging everything I do at every step." He thought for a moment and cocked his head to one side, "Keep within earshot though, if something does go wrong, it will be helpful to have someone nearby."

"Yeah... Yeah I will." The Ensign nodded, toeing the decking beneath his feet. "Can I ask what you think happened?" His eyes widened slightly as he continued to peek in, watching the ship's newly anointed Commanding Officer hard at work, "And you don't think there's like part of her hidden in here somewhere, do you?" Ah fuck, he cursed mentally, that had probably been the worst question he could have possibly asked that particular individual. Rumors were rumors, but what if they were true? It would be an even worse day. He swallowed the knot in his throat.

"Starfleet Intelligence would have us believe that there is parts of her all over this wreckage." Almar replied, his voice cold and even, emotionless as he ran through the motions of setting up another tripod mounted scanner to work on some of the external surfaces, "As for what I think happened..." he paused for a moment and took a deep breath, "I don't guess. When this craft left the Vindicator it was perfect, I led the inspection team myself and signed off on it. If something went wrong, I will find it."

"I mean, I see obvious traces of blood, but I have to question the amount." Emboldened by Almar's response, the kid continued to speak and cast a rather wary eye to one particular smear. Dirt and grit had accumulated on it while it had dried, leaving it a most peculiar shade of rust in spots and rich sickly looking garnet in others. "Like, there's not enough. Not that I can see... For um, you know. Someone who was like..." The sound effect he made said it all. Something blown or torn to smithereens by the effects of something as awful as a shuttle crashing. Another mistake, but the honesty was there all the same. "Anyway... You inspected it, it crashed. You're supposed to be one of the best engineers in the entire Federation if the rumors are supposed to be believed. What happens now?"

"You're not wrong." Almar replied as he fired up one of the tricorders and began syncing up the scanners, "You're in security, they still teach investigation." he stated before turning his iron gaze on the Ensign, "So tell me, why do you never believe what was written in the first report? And why would Starfleet Intelligence move so fast to perform the duties of Starfleet Security?"

Hearing his in, the kid carefully entered the wreckage and looked around at the chaos and mayhem. It had been a catastrophic impact and wreck to be certain, "Many reasons." He replied with a small shrug, "People miss things, first report is just a hypothesis and meant to be picked apart." The kid continued, pausing to examine a bit of twisted metal that had speared into the back of a mangled, blood smeared seat, "People hide..." His thumb hiked towards the five part harness and the buckle configuration hanging from the groin piece, "things. What do you think did this?"

"It strikes me as suspicious, for such a piece of twisted metal to breach from the back of the craft would assume that the craft struck the ground in reverse, as for the harness, it's not meant to release in such a manner as it runs the risk of entanglement." the Cardassian replied as he turned his attention to the seat and shrapnel, "The stain also looks suspicious, there should be more..."

"It's not meant to release in such a manner, true, but is it built to split straight through at the straps?" The young officer asked, lifting one of the thick pieces to examine the razor edge, "It looks cut." He asserted before dropping it and turning his attention to the stain in question. A tricorder was carefully extracted off his utility belt and briefly used to scan the interior. There were splashes and drips and smears in several locations. The seat and harness itself held the most evidence that the Captain had ever been there at all. "Less than a liter." He hummed, furrowing his brow. "Not enough to kill anyone, just enough to make 'em real woozy."

"It's meant to release at the connection point in the centre," Almar replied as he turned the attention of the sensor modules to the scrap of metal that had pierced the seat, "It definitely looks far too clean of a cut to be any kind of damage from the destruction of the craft." scanning the metal took a moment for the system, "Even if things were to go catastrophically wrong, the runabouts are designed to at least maintain a singular direction for safety reasons, there is no reason for it to strike the ground from the rear which means anything piercing from the aft section should not be as damaged as this is."

The feeble tricorder went back onto the Ensign's belt and he inched around the seat and the hulk of the Cardassian to view the damage itself. The seat had been speared almost all the way through, just sparing its occupant - but barely. The kid winced, shaking his head, "So what you're saying is that the thing somehow managed to fly... Backwards? Is it possible it bounced or spun upon impact and then... You know..." He hiked a thumb in the direction of the carnage, "That."

"In general, something the size of the Liberty wouldn't impact and bounce, they're designed to crumple to a certain extent and remain on the ground, especially where it impacted." Almar began as knealt down next to the scrap and ran a finger across its surface, "It is possible that it impacted the aft section first but then we'd also see less damage to the cabin," he added with a gesture to the area opposite the seat, "Which is obviously not the case."

"Decidedly not," The kid responded, drawing out the word 'not' while following the Cardassian's gestures with his eyes. It was a brutal tale to be told. "All the reports say the debris was scattered and the thing lodged in a mine entrance." He recanted, ducking to look at a blown out panel. Evidence of plasma burns were virtually everywhere, but the over all amount of material burned by 'fire' was minimal. "You're saying they hit and crumble, but this thing covered some distance like someone jammed the throttle." He paused and turned to look at the burly XO, "Is that possible?"

"In theory, if the drive systems overloaded or were offline, it'd certainly be possible, gravity would cause a certain amount of acceleration and if there were sabotage then the engines could definitely cause the wreck to break up further." Almar replied as he pulled his hand away and looked back at the Ensign.

"So... Not an accident." It was more statement than question. There was a quick shake of the kid's head and his shoulders slumped in what could be described as a signal of defeat, "Is that what you think?" He asked, "That someone sabotaged the shuttle? Killed Commodore Ivanova?"

It took a moment of contemplation before the Cardassian replied, his voice heavy, "The shuttle was in perfect condition when it left the Vindicator, there was nothing that my team noticed before it left. Something happened, I don't believe it was an accident."

Silence owned the moment, resonating raw and harsh within the shuttle for several beats before the sound of the security officer's belt rustling broke it. "Sometimes people get sloppy and crap just falls apart." He offered, retreating from one of the more severely burnt areas, "Sometimes crap just happens that defies explanation and we have to live with it and move on with our lives. I hope for everyone's sake that you don't find evidence of sabotage. We all know that the repercussions would be pretty severe." The kid winced at the very thought.

The Cardassian fixed the Ensign with his gaze, his voice barely rising above a growl, "Things on my ship do not just fall apart. If there is evidence to be found here, then I will see those repercussions metered out to the fullest extent of the law."

"As well you should, sir." The Ensign nodded, "Pretty sure I've distracted you long enough. I'll leave you to your work."

Almar responded with a curt nod as he went back to working on his tricorder and pulling up information from the scanners, he had a lot of wreckage to go over and he knew that deep down he wouldn't be stopping until he was satisfied.

(To Be Continued...)

Commander Almar Dahe'el
Acting Commanding Officer


Security Officer
NPC apb October

USS Vindicator NX78213-F


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