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Posted on Thu May 30th, 2019 @ 2:27pm by Captain Mrazak & Lieutenant JG Ryland Dedeker & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong & Lieutenant JG Grace Sternwood Ph.D. & Ferrofax & Lieutenant Isaiah Zelaney & Master Warrant Officer Alexei Sokolov & Lieutenant Commander Garai Fenia PhD
Edited on on Fri Jun 7th, 2019 @ 1:23am

Mission: S1E3: Barbarians at the Gates
Location: Deck 3 USS Phantom - Computer Core, Engineering, Forensic Labs
Timeline: MD 2

"So, wait, you tellin' me that we got two AI's bouncin' around inside this mainframe?" Ryland asked. There wasn't much for him to do with the Phantom in dock, so he decided to peek over the shoulder of the technical team performing diagnostics. "Does that mean I need to wipe my database searches?"

"Can you back up?" Isaiah asked, glaring at the man as he turned back to his work. "Grace, I want you to make sure Janus doesn't enter the primary mainframe. The Computer still thinks Ferrofax is in there."

"Two at a time is hard for a lot of folks to manage." Ryland took a sly, bragging tone. "Not yours truly, a'course."

Isaiah rolled his eyes but said nothing.

"Yeah that should be easy enough," Grace said, keying some commands. She personally thought that Ferrofax not being in the system was probably the best option for everyone. To say that she was not exactly enthusiastic about saving him would have been accurate to somewhat of an understatement.

Ryland stepped back and surveyed what all they were doing. His years had taken him all over the galaxy, and never had he served on a ship that had an honest to goodness artificial intelligence like this. Much less one that was so dependent. The way that talked about this Ferrofax made him sound like one of the crew. Curiosity if nothing else had the better of him.

"So, what happens now?"

"First I want to see if we can simulate ferrofax being in the system, just enough for the Computer to shut him down and load Janus. That would be an ideal solution," Isaiah said as he began to input commands.

"Is Janus hot?" Ryland asked. "Ferrofax wasn't exactly easy on the eyes. Or ears, for that matter."

"Do you ever turn it off?" Isaiah said, standing up as he tossed the tool he was using to the floor. "Seriously, does everything that comes out of your mouth have to be sexual in nature? Do you now know anything else but that? Is your brain, and dick, possibly that miniscule that you feel the need to show off at every moment? I swear to all the gods, in a millenia, I've never met anyone as disgusting and focused on sex as yourself."

"Why would I need to turn it off? Seems like you got that down pat," Ryland retorted. "Ain't never got any complaints personally." He winked at Grace. "But I know when I ain't wanted. I'll just go let the ladies in labs know you're almost done."

Grace looked a bit uncomfortable as he winked at her and she forced a little smile. it was clear that Isaiah and Ryland didn't get along and Isaiah seemed to be put off by Ryland's openness but Grace found it kind of interesting. Not that she had any idea of what social etiquette dictated she grew up sheltered on an expedition with no other people her own age. She didn't know how to be young or social.

While the computer techs were installing Janus as a backup assistant, the others were comparing notes in the forensic labs. Of course, Ferrofax's absence threw a kink into Sophie's new arrival as Lead Engineering Specialist, which meant lots of back and forth to main engineering to borrow Alexei's authorization for computer searches. All in all, it made for very slow going in their brainstorming.

Fenia had the research data from the morgue ship up, though with the constant running around, not a lot was done in terms of actual database research. All they had to go with at present was the data collected that was up on the holo displays.

"So, what level of access do we have considering our lack of Ferrofax?" Fenia asked.

“Not much until my security clearance is approved,” answered Sophie. “And who knows how long that will take? Starfleet bureaucracy can be a pain in the ass.”

Fenia nodded, "so what do we know that causes Theta Flux distortions?"

Alexei always felt he had to tuck his head while stepping through the door. A good seven feet of height tends to do that. In his heavily accented Russian, Alexei spoke up. "I came here since I got tired of being interrupted."

Sophie ignored the others and answered Fenia's question. "Nobody really knows," she replied. "Although, there is a theory that they are caused by fluidic space- possibly an opening into it or a ship passing through it. It is all hypothetical, but it's all we have to go on just now."

"And it happens to fall into our theories about Species 8472 collusion with the Cardassians all too neatly." Fenia sighed, "but without evidence, we can't really do shit, can we. So, let's pool what we have and see if things overlap. See where that gets us while we get Janus installed etc."

"I feel...weird."

A holographic bauble of green light flickered and solidified into the air, spinning slowly to reveal bands of white light flickering with computational data. Unlike most AI's within the Federation, and within Starfleet, Janus had been designed not to interact on a day to day basis with a humanoid crew. She had been designed as a guide for the Bajoran Board Of Tourism, a think tank on Risa had thought a spherical orb of light with a cutsie voice was just what the world needed. Of course, the glitch that had jumped Janus from annoyingly persistent to worryingly sentient was not listed as a product feature.

Nor the borderline psychotic split personality. That, to Memory Theta, was seen as a key feature of the Janus AI module.

"I taste cinnamon. Which is weird as I have no taste receptors and cinnamon tastes like raw ferromagnetic elements," the little green orb said cheerily as it righted itself, and floated over to join them.

"I'm assuming you're Janus?" Fenia observed the little green orb with curiosity. "What's your level of access?"

"Hot damn, I love it when I'm right," Ryland said, sauntering into the room, thumbs tucked into his waistline. "That honeyed voice is a far sight better than ol' Ferrofax."

Fenia turned to Ryland, then back to the little orb, "right about what, Mister Ryland?"

"Oh, nothing." Ryland had been chewed out for his lewdness once already and wasn't eager to invite a sequel. "Only that Janus here is prolly more 'user friendly' than ol' Ferrofax."

Sophie’s lips pursed in disapproval. “Cursing is highly inappropriate,” she said curtly to the newcomer. “Have you been sent to assist us?”

"Well, mea culpa, darlin'," Ryland said, giving Sophie a lurid appraisal. "In answer to your question, though, I'd be happy to assist you--in every way." He punctuated the last bit with a wink and a click of the tongue.

"Flirt later, now we have to figure out why we're detecting the Theta Flux distorsions and if it fits into our theory of Species 8472 being involved." Fenia rilled her eyes visibly.

Sophie gave Dedeker a hard look, then turned her back on him without a word. She didn’t have time for any nonsense and this guy was nothing but nonsense. “Personally, I hope it doesn’t,” she said. “I would hate to think of 8472 being involved. In any case, what is the likelihood that Cardassians can open up fluidic space on their own? And, less importantly, why does Janus taste cinnamon without taste receptors?”

"I might just be a dumb flight jockey, but I got an idea or two." Ryland held up one finger. "Never underestimate a Cardassian." Propping up another finger, he added, "and cinnamon is traditionally an aphrodisiac." He waggled his eyebrows at Sophie.

"Janus, bring up any known information on Theta Flux radiation, correlate with allied databases, also bring up all we know about species 8472 and any data connecting the Cardassians to either of the two or both." Fenia leaned against the console with her hands, looking down at the little orb.

The little orb did not disappoint, but it did dim in concentration as it accessed other holographic systems.

"The quantum resonance they detected was from the bio-ship's entrance. These were detected along with the causality quantum events caused by the opening of a quantum singularity, the only known way to open a gateway to Fluidic Space," Janus explained, presenting a three-dee hologram of said quantum singularity. And given it was an nth dimensional event, the diagram gave everyone a headache just looking at it. "The theta flux distortion was caused by a beacon device. And that's what catalyzed a very specific type of quantum singularity. The quantum resonance will have the same resonance signature as the theta flux distortion."

The little green lightbulb that could brightened.

"Do AI's get headaches?"

"I don't know?" Fenia grimaced, then refocused on the image. "Do we know where that beacon was? Or more importantly whose?"

Ryland scratched his chin. "Reckon that's the super secret debris the Lagashi recovered?"

"Given the paranoid nature of Lagashi data encryption and their apprehension of Ferrofax, the probability curve for that hypothesis is high." Janus pointed out.

Sophie shot Dedeker an annoyed look. Why couldn't he just stay useless? It was far more annoying that he was actually contributing rather than hitting on her and being dead weight. "I just wish they were a little more open to sharing their findings," she muttered.

"Well, we'll leave the procuring to the likes of Commander Linn etc." Fenia sighed. "Alright, I think we need to call Commander Mrazak." She then tapped her commbadge, "Garai to Mrazak. Sir, we have some information for you."

A moment lingered before he responded. =/\="Mrazak here. Go on."=/\=

"Sir, we are now reasonably certain the quantum resonance was from the bio-ship's entrance. They would have been able to enter our space by opening a quantum singularity, the only known way to open a gateway to Fluidic Space," Fenia said, "The theta flux distortion we have been detecting was caused by a beacon type device, which left a very specific type of a quantum singularity. We are currently matching the quantum resonance signature to that of the theta flux distortion. So, if we find the beacon, we can find the who and the why perhaps."

=/\="If the stars are with us, then Linn and the others are acquiring information on that as we speak,"=/\= Mrazak said. =/\= "Do you turn up any information regarding the alleged Cardassian collusion?"=/\=

"No sir, but it is likely that acquiring the beacon device might yield said intel." Fenia replied.

=/\="Of course it is!" Mrazak blurted. "I was just hoping you had evidence now..." The Vulcan sighed heavily over the comm channel. =/\="I will be returning to the ship with a prisoner in tow. Perhaps he will be more forthcoming. Prepare the Brig. Mrazak out."=/\=

As the commlink closed, Fenia sighed and looked at everyone. "Alright then!"

Great! Can we throw Dedeker into it? thought Sophie. "So basically, we're stuck until we can get our hands on that beacon," she said aloud.

"Depends," Ryland said. "Can we get Janus to smell anything else?"

"I don't want to smell anything else," Janus reported sheepishly.

Ryland shrugged. "Then I guess we wait for the away teams to get back. Until then..." He grinned at Sophie. "How's about we get more acquainted."

Sophie gave him a scathing look. “I believe I know you well enough,” she said curtly.

"But not as well as could be." Ryland grinned. "Looks like ya'll are done here, so I think I'll mosey on down to the brig and see what's cookin'."


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