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Creature Report

Posted on Tue Jan 16th, 2018 @ 6:05pm by Captain Mrazak

Mission: S1E1: Bynars Be Bygones
Location: USS Phantom - Bynaus orbit
Timeline: MD 5; 15:30

The distant remaining sun of the Beta Magellan system bathed Bynaus in a warm, eternal twilight on its north pole and never-ending midnight on its south. Its primary star had went nova with its gravitational singularity contained by a dyson bubble that managed to maintain a safe, stable orbit. Thanks to the Lagashi BaoJun Qiao, the Phantom had slipped through the defensive network of the Bynar system and hidden itself in orbit of the forever dark southern hemisphere. Save for a few blips of light, there was nothing to suggest surface activity.

While the helm assuming low orbit at minimum speed, Mrazak slipped away from the bridge to the strat-ops conference room for a private communique with his contact. As soon as the doors closed behind him, Mrazak sealed them with manual input on the wall console. Then he accessed the comm system, entered his private fractal-based encryption protocol, and dialed in the Federation embassy somewhere in the northern hemisphere.

A pleasantly taciturn Vulcan man appeared on the three-dimensional holo-viewer in the center of the table. "Brother Mrazak, it is a pleasure to see you."

"As it is you, Ambassador Hannok. How is Bynaus?" Mrazak suppressed a teasing smirk.

"A damnable posting, as you can plainly see." Hannok raised a curious eyebrow. "Is he with you?"

"Is who with me?"

Hannok scowled. "Do not play coy with me, Mrazak. You know very well who I mean. The Exile."

"Of course he isn't." Mrazak chortled at the ambassador. "He is confined to the facility."

"Yet you were recently made administrator, were you not? Surely you could have brought him with you..." Hannok's scowl deepened in suspicion. Though Qurban's existence was not formally acknowledged among the Vulcan Science Directorate, his sudden arrival bore too many surprises to be fully contained. In time, the V'tosh Ka'tur movement considered him a venerable if unapproachable figure. The unequaled blend of emotion and reason as demonstrated by the Q were quite lofty in their eyes. The Q had transcended logic and become better for it.

Mrazak shook his head. "My position is only that of interim."


"My hope was that a successful retrieval on Bynaus would support a claim to a permanent arrangement." Mrazak leaned forward, his eyes still merry despite his stern face. "To that end, old friend, what have you got for me?"

"Not much more than my initial report, I'm afraid." Hannok reached off screen for a moment. "I am transmitting the coordinates of the Federation embassy. It's in Canton 0101-1. I've taken the liberty to set the correct grid to flashing on your coordinate display." His voice dropped to a mutter. "For all their brilliance, Bynar culture is rather stunted in its nomenclature."

Coordinates displayed in the embedded tabletop console as Hannok had indicated.

"Well done, Hannok," he said. "What of the machine, though? Is it in your custody?"

Hannok took a breath, stalling for time. "The... android... is nearby, yes. But custody may become a more difficult matter than first intimated."

That did not please Mrazak. He steepled his fingers over his nose and stared over them at the holographic display. "Go on."

"It seems the owner of the android is en route to claim it back," Hannok said cautiously. "He has sent numerous missives to my office, but I have neglected to respond for days. As he is a Starfleet officer, he suggested involving the Judge Advocate's office to resolve the matter."

Mrazak pounded the table. "I am JAG in this matter! Why is this a problem, Hannok? Your job is to make these hurdles go away."

"I've tried," Hannok said with an apologetic shrug. "If he were still at his remote posting, then I could dismiss it with mere words. But he will be here soon, and I cannot appear to do nothing. It would be a boon for me personally if your team could be away before that time."

That could be complicated. An investigation still needed to happen as to the actual crisis of the Bynars. There were autopsies to perform, interviews to conduct, computer systems to assess... secret data to pilfer. "I will do what I can," Mrazak said. "As I told you, there are higher stakes than avoiding a stubborn officer."

"Yes, yes," Hannok agreed. "There is the potential global network crash on the horizon. Is it as bad as they say?"

Yes. If the Bynars lost control of their computers, then the Dyson networks would likely be compromised too. The entire star system could fall within the singularity's event horizon, and there would not be a tomorrow for anyone within a light-year. Mrazak wanted to tell his Illogical comrade the truth of the matter, but duty precluded that professional courtesy. "Time will tell," he said at length.

Hannok nodded. "Of course. Please bring your team to my office. I'll have a Bynar representative ready to read you all in to the full situation and provide provisional access to the Praxis. You won't get far on Bynaus without that."

The Praxis: an interactive virtual interface with the planetary network linked in to the master mainframe. Generally off limits to offworlders, it seemed that the Theta team would be among the few exceptions. Hannok had indeed pulled some strings.

Mrazak frowned as he considered the news. "So the Bynars will not release the affected bodies?"

"Correct." Hannok pressed his lips together in further apology. "I am sure your team will make do with the Bynar facilities."

That was another wrinkle that Mrazak did not intend to take lying down. "My team and I will arrive within the hour. Live long and prosper."

Hannok saluted, then ended the transmission with a nod.

Alone again with his thoughts, Mrazak leaned back and sighed. It was times like these that made him consider meditation. One time constraint was bad enough -- if the glitch in the master computer system kept spreading as quickly as predicted, they only had a week at the outset before reaching the point of unsustainability. But for an nosy, instrusive Starfleet officer to show up where he doesn't belong and start interfering with that investigation? It was too much. He might have to write a memo about that.

The Bynar reluctance to surrender the dead or disconnected Bynars barely warranted an afterthought.

Mrazak re-entered the bridge with a spring in his step--or perhaps a bur in his heel. Idioms were hard when one was in a hurry. From the nearest console he opened a ship-wide channel across all 4 decks.

"Hear now, my team of intrepid specialists, the time has finally come. Colonel Garlic, Lieutenants Kiril, Qiao, and Wilco, and Sergeant Kos will join me in the shuttlepod immediately. Grab any field gear you may need on your way to the shuttle hatch in the Vault."

Lieutenant Straten flinched at asking the question, but he asked it anyway. "Sir, should I remain with the Phantom? You know, to keep it--"

"You will shuttle us down to the Federation embassy whereupon you will wait for further instruction," Mrazak said. "Honestly! If I wanted a kae'amp argument with my orders, I would get intoxicated in front of a mirror."

He clapped his hands. "All further questions will be saved for transit. Let's move, people!"


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