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Only Skin Deep

Posted on Wed Sep 30th, 2020 by Lieutenant Commander Kelsi Dawson & Captain Iazil Naadel [Engstrom] & Lieutenant Jessica Kingsley & Lieutenant Gavin MacIntyre & Lieutenant Sorben ch'Theseski & Lieutenant JG Taven [Hoseki] & Chief Petty Officer Merissa Reade [Gelo] & Nadia Benson Ph.D. [Stevenson]

Mission: Episode 9 - Deception
Location: Bridge, USS Haeva
Timeline: Day 6 at 1145
1288 words - 2.6 OF Standard Post Measure

Kelsi Dawson kept peeking away from her station on the bridge over in the general direction of where Merissa was sitting. Most of the time she'd wished she could read the minds of others. This was one of those moments because the woman she loved was sitting there.

And, that was the heart of the matter too. Kelsi loved the woman and yet she wouldn't blame Merissa for trying to save her marriage. Kelsi didn't know what she would say at the hearing that was certainly to come. The Captain had made that more than clear. It was also made clear that she was not happy about what had happened as well.

"Permission to disembark from the station has been granted," Jessica commented from the operations station. She looked over at Kelsi, "Are systems ready to go Commander?"

Kelsi immediately snapped out of her thoughts. "All systems are reporting green," She said over her shoulder without facing away from her console. "Chief how are you looking over there?" She asked suddenly.

Merissa was trying her best to sort her feelings while also trying to forget the conversation with the Captain. She was convinced that her husband knew about the affair long ago and instead of confronting her, was behind the article in the first place.

She had no way to prove that though, "Everything is online and ready to go sir," She said in an overly professional sounding voice.

Iazil nodded, "Very well," She had turned to face the two at the engineering stations and the one at the operations station. "Lieutenant Taven clear all moorings and prepare to engage at less than one third impulse power."

"Aye sir," Taven answered from the helm. "So any guesses on what President Traht is saying right now in his speech?" He asked. Taven knew that they were missing out on the historic event below and wasn't all that concerned about it. He had made a point to talk to V'Laas before they boarded the ship and made certain that both their child and her were staying home.

Sorben shrugged from the tactical station with his arms crossed over his chest, "I don't have any guesses."

"Me neither," Gavin admitted from the science station.

Nadia was working on the station towards the back of the bridge. She had been doing final checks on all the equipment that was going to be installed into the ship. "Probably just some sort of political nonsense that we won't like at the end of the day." She stated. "I wouldn't put too much stock into it to be honest with you."

Iazil didn't want to hear anything about politics and as she watched the ship's viewer had decided se was going to state that, "Let's leave the political conversation off the table. We all know he's down there speaking and that's fine it's his right.

"But, we've got our hands full so let's concentrate on doing our jobs so that we can return to our families," She said quickly. "Helm how long until we've cleared the main docking bay?"

Taven abruptly stopped talking about President Traht and focused his attention on his console. "I apologize," He muttered underneath his breath and then answered the question. "We will clear it in less than one minute."

"Excellent," The Commander commented from the middle chair. She rotated slightly, "How long do you think the equipment transfer will take?" She asked Commander Dawson.

Kelsi heard the question and raised a brow as she thought it over, "Well I'm not entirely sure Commander," She said a bit nervously. Her mind was still elsewhere and not entirely on the task at hand. "Probably two or three days to get the work done.

"After that the ship will be ready for departure to testbed the new equipment," She said.

"It may take a bit longer," Merissa said from her console. "I think we are still waiting on the materials from the industrial replicator plant on the surface. I will have to double check with someone when I get the chance." She managed to look over at Kelsi after saying it and said nothing else.

"True," Kelsi answered.

Nadia looked at the two women and could feel the tension clear over by her station. She was aware of the article, but had not read it and wondered if that was why they were acting the way they were. She was just about to say something too when suddenly she noticed something change on her screen. "Lieutenant MacIntyre?"

Gavin looked over his shoulder from the station where he was working and had noticed it, "I see it too. Are you detecting anything in the computer core?"

Jessica was looking at her console for a moment, "There appears to be a slight delay in the computer core matrix," She said. "It's probably nothing, but as soon as we get to Cessna Station I'll mention it."

Sorben was leaning back in his seat listening to them talk, "I think it's worse than that," He said suddenly with his brow raised. "This is starting to spread into the weapons array," He tried to use his console, but it made an error noise letting him know there was a fault somewhere.

"My console isn't working," Taven said after they had cleared the station and were going past Ivaldi Three. "It's locked," He commented.

"Locked?" Kelsi said before standing over and walked over to one of the nearby stations, "I can't clear it."

Iazil looked around the bridge, "I need answers people," She said, "Can someone please explain to me why we've suddenly lost helm control and weapons control as well?" She asked and looked at Sorben.

Sorben looked at the Commander and nodded, "We've lost that as well yes."

Merissa's mind immediately snapped away from where it had been seconds before to the current crisis. "I'm trying to locate the source, but it appears to have started down in the computer core."

"It's spreading too," Jessica said from her console. "I just tried to use both internal and external communications and neither is working. It's like there is some sort of virus that has been uploaded into the computer..." She was quietly muttering the last part as she worked.

Then her console locked up and the screen went entirely blank, "And, I just lost my console," She said.

Iazil was about to say something when she felt the ship take a heavy roll and change directions immediately. "Taven?"

Taven was desperately trying to use his console to no avail, "It's not me sir," He managed to say. He looked up at the viewer as the screen changed to the view of the planet. "I'm trying to override it, but it's jammed."

Iazil saw the atmosphere burn past them as the ship hit full impulse power and angled down into the planetary atmosphere. "Someone has just gained remote access," She saw the convention center come into view.

Nadia swallowed hard as she found herself somewhere to sit knowing what was about to happen, "We're going to..." She stopped herself from saying that they were about to hit the building.

"I have a photon torpedo that is now armed," Sorben said wildly, "The computer armed the bloody thing on it's own, but never loaded it into the tube," He said. "I cannot clear it."

Iazil gripped the edge of her seat, "Brace for impact!" She ordered and firmly closed her eyes.

Kelsi did as she was told just seconds before consoles started to erupt in sparks and she could hear the explosions everywhere. She managed to get a glance of the front of the ship just seconds before the viewer registered that they had gone straight into the convention center...


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