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Interview Eight - Lieutenant Sophie Xiong

Posted on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 @ 8:03pm by Commander Arianna Frost & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong

Mission: Mission 0: Everybody Has A Story
Location: Intelligence Office

Frost was beginning to wonder if the staff assigned to Theta was there to be put out of the way because of their undesirable traits and behavior, or if they were assigned because of said traits and behavior made them the best for the delicate nature of Memory Theta's remit.

Her next appointment was the Engineering Lead, Xiong. Whereas her file presented a person would would at best be difficult to handle, Arianna wondered if the conversation may lead to revealing any uncomfortable truths that she knew the others were trying their best to hide. Such as Qiao. Then again, it could end up being the shortest and quietest interview yet.

She would know soon enough.

Summoned to the intelligence offices? As if Sophie had any intelligence. Wait, scratch that. Oh, you know what she meant!

Never mind. She had to do what she had to do. So she presented herself at the intelligence offices at the appointed time and checked in on the console, then sat in the waiting area to be called to the interview.

Ari's console bleeped Sophie checked in. Frost remained seated as she pressed the comm channel signal. "Come in, Lieutenant."

And just as she sat down! With an agitated sigh, she stood again and walked through the door. "Lieutenant Sophie Xiong reporting as ordered," she announced blandly.

"Good to meet you, Lieutenant Xiong. Have a seat please." Arianna offered.

Without a word, Sophie sat. There was nothing to say, so why waste her breath.

"You understand why you're here I presume?" Frost asked again.

"No," answered Sophie as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "I barely know this team. I don't think I'll be any help to you."

"On the contrary, you can provide me with an untainted account of what happened on the Phantom during the mission and how you dealt with Zelaney's lockout." Arianna motioned for Sophie to continue, "so, if you please?"

Sophie gave her an annoyed look. "I turned it off and back on again," she answered curtly.

"What kind of method did he use to lock out the system? Details please, not smartass comments." Arianna didn't flinch.

"I didn't actually do anything," Sophie replied, still curtly. "Sternwood found his ghost registry and rooted it out. I activated the artifact that we didn't even know the function of. And to be perfectly honest, I'm still not sure what it actually did. It... exploded. And we ended up in fluidic space. But, it seemed to have done the trick- the computer reinitialized itself and we had control again. So, like I said; we turned it off and back on again. Inadvertently."

Arianna nodded, "how did it reinitialize itself? You're an Engineer, I'm sure you have at the very least a theory, or would have chased it down once the mission was over, if Sternwood was the one who sorted out the ghost registry."

Sophie opened her mouth to answer, but then closed it again. She had at first assumed that Sternwood had reinitialized the computer, but she’d have seen signs of it happening and she didn’t remember that happening. She had them assumed that the computer was possibly more high tech than what she was used to and so it had done it all on its own. “I- it must have,” she replied. “We couldn’t have regained control otherwise. Could we?” She stared at the wall, brow furrowed in thought, puzzling through just HOW a computer could reinitialize itself anyway.

"Can the Phantom's computer do that though? Manual input has always been a security barrier to prevent against various sorts of tampering." Ari prompted.

Sophie blinked. She was right, of course: a computer couldn't reboot itself. And yet, they'd regained control of the computer. "I guess Sternwood must have rebooted it," she said finally. "Or the ghost registry was written in such a way that as soon as it was eliminated, it released the computer. Although I can't imagine anybody going to the trouble of locking us out of the computer and then making sure we could get control back so easily. Unless he was never interested in keeping us out. And the odds of that happening purely by chance are... at least 874 billion to one against. No, that's not an actual calculation," she added with a roll of her eyes. "And it's likely an exaggeration. But, you take my meaning."

Frost nodded, "definitely calls for an investigation however, considering it's a loose end."

"It does seem to be something I should know about," Sophie agreed. "But, what are the implications if he designed it to unlock immediately without needing to reboot?" She puzzled about that for exactly two seconds before deciding she didn't really care.

"The implications are, it could happen again, and worse, at the wrong time." Arianna offered. "Now, have you had any interactions with Kazyah Linn or Karna Zsan?"

"Only in passing," Sophie answered. "Staff briefings and such."

"Did anything in their actions seem disloyal or in any way detrimental to the Federation?" Arianna asked again. Whilst Xiong was one of those interviewees that were always difficult to get information out of, she did provide some interesting keypoints to follow up. Besides, the one thing more annoying than answering questions was asking a lot of them.

"No," replied Sophie. "But then, as I said, I didn't really know them well enough to pay attention."

"What do you pay attention to, Lieutenant?" Ari nodded, jotting down a note, ready to bring this interview to an end soon.

"My job," Sophie answered pointedly. "And my friends and family."

"A Starfleet officer's job is more than their specialization," Arianna countered, "is there anything you wish to add, Lieutenant, before we conclude this interview?"

Sophie leveled the other woman with a look that could skin a cat at 20 paces. "Only that I said I pay attention to my job, not my specialization," she replied curtly.

Arianna's expression and posture bore no response to the glare. She'd seen it a thousand times over in many before. She'd see it a thousand times again in times to come.

"And yet you missed what I said...." Arianna thought to herself. "Interview terminated." She said, tapping in the recording PADD. "You may go, Lieutenant. Thank you for your insight."

Sophie stared back for a moment and then, without a word, stood and walked out the door.


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