The Spies are Due on Deck 12|
Written by Cylapse
...A soft tone sounded twice in succession, indicating an incoming hail to the Communications officer...
"Captain..." she began, Syra was her name. "We have an incoming transmission, its on a broadwave frequency."
Jarren Caid ascended the short platform leading to his command chair, having just recently arrived on the bridge.
"I take it that means you can't isolate it?" he replied, claiming his seat and activating a private display. "Put it through."
Syra complied dutifly, dancing her fingers along the console to decipher and relay the message to the main viewer. She bit her lip in anticipation as she offered her captain an honest look through hazel eyes.
"Audio only, sir." she stated, instead channeling the hail to the speakers.
The captain lifted his chin and listened, expressing a look of quiet impatience as he ran thumb and forefinger along his goatee.
Silence. Caid turned and offered his junior officer an inquisitive look before finally standing from his perch.
"This is Captain Caid, commanding the Starship Xephyr...respond."
His eyes shifted to the body of Ensign Syra, glimpsing perhaps a bit too long before finally catching her eyes.
"The channel is open, everything checks out..." she paused a moment... "Sorry, it's now closed, sir... the signal just dropped."
Caid gestured dismissively before pivoting on his heel to face Lieutenant Larece, one of the ship's more qualified science officers.
"Bernadette..." he smiled, softening his tone. He always felt a certain need to pacify himself when dealing directly with her, as if he desired to impress this younger officer. "Since we happen to be stuck here while Lexter makes repairs, why not tell us more about our surroundings? Run some scans while we wait, let me know if there's anything of interest out there..."
He began to make his way towards the exit..."I'm heading back down to see how our engineer is handling th-" He stopped, then granted a slow stare towards the viewer... "For example Lieutenant, I hope you can explain to me why there are no stars showing up on our scanners..." He tilted his head slightly, gauging the steel blue eyes that met him. "I'll be back, you have the bridge if anything hits the fan." And with that he stepped out.
"You know Doc, it's funny... right as you mentioned that I recalled a recent dream." Faro said, under slight anesthetic effect as the doctor injected a compound into his bloodstream.
"Yes, keep talking..." Doctor Vega began... "It will help you relax you as the Liocine takes effect. It can be quite painful. You really should not have been working so close to so much radiation last nite...Your rad levels are among the highest in the engineering crew. It could explain the headaches." In reality, he rather disliked this crewman, and enjoyed passing along the bad news. But he did tell the truth, if Faro kept talking the whole ordeal might be a little easier on the both of them.
"Well it was weird..." Faro continued... "It was black and white, and a man onboard wasn't quite as he appeared. He mentioned Deck 12, and I followed him, he needed help. As we rounded the corner, I came into a small room, we had left Deck 12 somehow... there were no doors. I dont even really recall how I got there... but he was waiting, and the viewpoint shifted...he killed me there, I was watching myself die through his eyes. You know, I never really dream, doc...but this was crisp, concise imagery... Scared the shit outta me..."
"Mmm hmm." Vega said apathetically, finalizing the injection. "Keep talking, I'll be right back."
The doctor stepped into his private office to display an old novel on his monitor as he waited in peaceful silence for the 10 minute Liocine lag to run out.
Shapiro narrowed his eyes before revealing a smile, extending a hand to shake Lexter's.
"Then the task is yours... as far as the logs are concerned, one of my men is on the job...but your skills will do the real work. Once you have proof, let me know. Otherwise, I'll be in touch." he said, nodding to the engineer. Lexter said nothing, merely watching as Dylan Shapiro, the ship's Chief of Security left Main Engineering, only moments before Captain Caid walked in.
"What's the word, Sub-Commander?"
"The hyperdrive is still offline, I can't even offer so much as a guess at why it failed. But I won't have it online anytime soon, sorry to say..." Lexter was rather pleasant usually, a member of an ancient race known as the Wynkaarans. They were the first to contact the drifting Cynapse ships years ago, at the height of their break-away from the Terran Confederation. Lexter was there to oversee the Wynkaaran technology made available to the Syndicate and ensure its proper functionality. "But... I can offer you this..." he pointed to a log entry. "Someone has been tapping into excessive amounts of the ship's power...Shapiro has a man looking into it, he'll be submitting a report to you ASAP."
Caid offered a simple nod, before turning and walking out. He felt a certain level of irritation rising within him, and prefered not to discuss it with the ship's resident alien. He would be waiting for Shapiro's report, and was further irked that he hadn't already been briefed. As he walked out, Caid was observed by Ensign Faro, who had overheard their conversation and began to ponder on it as he clocked in to his shift.
The soft hums returned. [Incoming Hail] flashed twice on Ensign Syra's bridge console. She offered a smile to the acting bridge commander, Larece, before opening the channel and waiting again for a response... Her wait did not go un-eventful, as a high frequency pitch arced for a half-second, splitting her eardrum... She released a passive whimper as her left ear started to bleed. The signal dropped again, as quick as it came.
Lieutenant Larece stepped over and rested her hands on Syra's shoulders.
"Go to sick bay, baby..." she smiled, winking as her fingers started on an easy massage. "I can't have my girl getten hurt on me... now quick, before the bridge gets crowded again." Syra complied without objection, an inherent submissive quality, leaving Larece alone on the bridge.
She stared at the viewer as she waited for the ship's computer to process her scans, watching the black void before her eyes...she had a sudden flash, and found herself locked deep in passion with Ensign Syra, a near-violent exchange of tongues and nails as they dug into each other in extreme ecstasy...a flash again, and they were both laying dead in a blood-stained bed, the apparent aftermath of their chaotic venture...she clawed in sudden panic at her eyes and opened them again, finding in return the dead stare of the main viewer...the Captain was right, it had been a long day. And speaking of the devil, he stepped onto the bridge, the strangest of looks on his face.
"Have you been crying, Lieutennant?"...he approached her slowly, the pacification ever-present. "And where is my Comm officer?..."
Larece looked up at the 26-year old and scanned her eyes along his slickly shaven head, revealing slight scratches along her eyelids.
"We just had another odd hail..." she began, side-stepping the question. "Syra was injured by the pitch, I sent her to Dr Vega. I also informed Lexter's team to check out her comm equipment."
"And yourself?" He persisted...
"I honestly don't know. Long day I guess."
"I've been a little stressed myself" he admitted, allowing her to save face by act of discretion. "I caught Shapiro in the halls a few minutes ago and chewed his ass out. As I rode the lift up here, I couldn't help but feel guilty."
"Jarren." she interjected, and he smiled at the use of his first name. "Not to sound rude...but I've run the scans you requested. The pocket of space immediately surrounding us is in fact a stellar body, a large black nebulae. I cannot establish any dimensions or coordinates, to be honest with you. The lack of stars or other map anchors throws our navigational bearings off, leaving us with projected positions based off of speed and course, before the Hyperdrive failure."
"Where does that put us, then, Lt?" Caid inquired.
"Somewhere within the Devonshire or Gergan system."
"Good work, keep at it." he stated as his own eyes, and attention, started to drift into the vast dark of the viewscreen image.
As crewman Nash crept along the corridor, he had the undeniable urge that he was being followed. He had felt it for days, and had been double checking everything he had done... just to make sure he wasn't being watched. A quick two-way glance served as his spot check as he slipped into a control room and shut the door. He slid a small data crystal into an open port and began to go to work, accessing the primary security system and transfering a series of schematics to the crystal. He had just done this minutes before, in a similar control room.
In perfect silence, Lexter watched, hands pressed against the wall, completely naked... but camoflauged. Wynkaaran skin easily adapated to its surroundings, and at times their eyes have been known to simply disappear from view. Lexter would have made an excellent spy, but then again, so would have any Wynkaaran. Rage started to build within him as he witnissed Nash's activities...surely this proved his guilt, but to the books it was not enough... he would have to be watched, for surely the urge to kill could be suppressed. At least for a little while. Spies deserved no better in the end, and Lexter was plotting the inevitable slaughter of this traitor... they were not orders, they were merely instincts.
In walked Faro...he stopped, Nash did as well. They faced each other, while Nash discretely withdrew his data crystal and pocketed it.
"I'm sorry" he started, patting a hand on Faro's shoulder "I must have taken a wrong turn..." As Nash and his stalker slipped out, Faro laughed and recalled a history log, noting the schematics previously pulled. A wrong turn into a small security room was a cute excuse. His imagination perhaps took a toll...or perhaps his sense of duty.
"Deck 12...?" Faro unlocked one of the cabinets in the the small security room, revealing an open display of firearms.
"Vega to the Captain." the Doctor requested. In the background, several voices could be heard. Caid ignored them all as his eyes glimmered, focussing heavilly on an imaginary set of 3 stars in a triad formation. Gas swirled and leaped from the stellar surfaces as Caid found his viewpoint pulling closer and closer towards the their center. He stood up and looked around him, the dead bodies of his crew laying strewn about their consoles in apparent battle stations. He simply blinked in apathetic observance and turned back to the viewer, watching the hull of his ship strip away shread by shread, a side effect of the trinary pull...
"Vega to Captain Caid, please respond." The Captain came to his senses. Larece and Syra, who had just recently returned, both looked at him in quiet concern. The bridge scene was serene now that his halluncenations had faded.
"This is Caid, what's up Doc?"
"Captain, I've been trying to reach Commander Shapiro, but he's been unavailable." the doctor began... "I'm missing some supplies."
"You calling me about missing gauze, Doctor, and I'm gonna be one angry white male..." the Captain interrupted, half joking.
"Not gauze, Liocine Denzanide. Not to mention a few hypodermic needles and a number of psychotropic drugs."
"What's so important about the Liocine?" came Caid's response.
"In and of itself, nothing more than a pain-killer, a very effective, often addictive one. Ensign Faro has been the only patient of mine to receive such a dosage in the past 72 hours. Also, I feel obligated to report that he has expressed some volitile urges to me... I would recommend a watchful eye, Captain."
"Thanks for the warning, Doctor." Caid closed the link and cast a glance towards the red-headed Larece before opening another... "Caid to Commander Shapiro."
There came no response. Shapiro laid motionless on a metal bed, and as a thin needle made its way into the veins of his neck, a gloved hand reached over and silenced his communicator.
"I want you to listen very carefully." whispered a voice, obscured by a surgical mask. "There is a very dangerous man onboard, a threat to you and your crew." Another needle passed through the skin.
Nash had compiled 3 seperate data crystals, all containing various schematics and log entries revolving around the Hyperdrive and other key areas of the ship, including reports on the various Liocine compounds and their effects. He had everything he needed. There was a problem, though. Someone had seen him, he had to have. He reached for the wall panel and accessed the comm system.
"Nash to Ensign Faro. Please respond." a long wait ensued.
"Faro here." He simply smiled, waiting a mere minutes away in a small room on the same deck.
"Could you help me with something, Ensign? I need an engineer's expertise..."
"You're not... lost again, are you crewman?" came Faro's composed response.
"Actually, I am...meet me at Access Panel 47. Nash out." He closed the comm and turned around.
The data crystals dropped to the floor and shattered, stepped on by the scaled, imposing foot of the Wynkaaran engineer. Lexter issued a violent snarl as his claws found their home deep within the crewman's neck, cutting his gurgled screams short within seconds. He was still fading into full view as he commited this act, and only then realized that he had taken the wrong approach in killing the spy.
Nash's body hit the steel grating and his blood ran thru it, forcing Lexter to quickly improvise. He withdrew a plasma torch from a nearby toolkit and flared it to life, burning away the traces of his DNA from Nash's mockery of a throat. He knew that Faro was on his way and he had no time to spare, the irony being that if Faro found him, he would surely turn him in...the Wynkaaran who just effectively saved his life. Another tool came into play as Lexter worked to conceal any signs of the blood from the surface grating. He would deal with the reservoirs later. As he once again started to fade against the backdrop, he struck a deliberate leak in the plasma torch and threw it into the crewman's dead hands, stepping silently out of the room as the overload began. The Wynkaaran reasoned that it would be enough to make it appear as an innocent engineering accident. He quickly left the scene, as he had a Hyperdrive he should have long ago repaired...
Faro opened the door only minutes later, finding a scorched body at his feet. Confusion assaulted him like a starved convict and in a mirror of Nash's fate, he turned around to find Shapiro, chest heaving, leveling a Revo Class P3 assault rifle at him.
"Security! Drop the weapon!" Shapiro shouted in an unrecognizable voice. Faro set his own rifle down, now unsure of what to think.
"I said drop the goddamn weapon!" Shapiro repeated, his tone far more violent than before. "Now!" Faro panicked and threw his hands into the air, crying a word of surrender as he dropped to his knees.
"I'm giving you to the count of 3 to drop that fucking rifle!" Shapiro lowered his aim to match Faro's croutched position. The frightened Ensign shook his head in denial, making every attempt to appear as docile as possible, to convey the message of his defeat.
Shapiro cared little however, and even relaxed some at the sight, offering a cold stare down to the cowardly crewman.
"One! ... Two! ..." Shapiro was not kidding.
Faro finally realized he had but one option and he scurried for his rifle.
"THREE!" and with that he pulled the trigger, sending a sharp poloron beam ripping through Faro's forehead and out the back of his skull, where the titanium panels worked to absorb the onslaught.
[Incoming Hail] [Incoming Hail]. Syra flipped and smashed her fists against the console, bringing the hail to the speakers.
"What?!" she cried, and Larece shot her an angry stare. The captain had not left them alone this time, he had assigned crewman Hudgens to tactical before leaving to find Shaprio. The bi-sexual science officer was at a disadvantage, it was all professional now.
"Ensign Syra, if you are -ever- to show such unprofessional conduct again in my presence as acting bridge Commander..." she approached in a stern posture, half-wishing to scare the younger Hudgens as well, before having a change of heart.
"So help me God, I will take you myself..." she uttered as a pair of silk hands sifted through the Ensign's hair and cupped her cheeks. Hudgens jaw dropped as he watched the two women engage in a slow, responsive kiss before another high pitch squeal echoed through the speakers, breaking the girls apart and dropping even Hudgens to the floor.
Caid stepped out from Shapiro's quarters, escorted by two security officers. They had just finished searching for their chief when the Captain's comm chirped.
"Shapiro to Caid." his voice was calm and relaxed.
"Speak of the devil... we were just looking for you. Report."
"I just stepped in on Ensign Faro, from the looks of it he killed crewman Nash. I warned him to drop his weapon, but no dice. He was a threat, I... had to take him out, Jarren." Shapiro and Caid went way back, and the captain didnt bother to pause for remourse.
"Understood. Im sending Diaz and Salkey here to help clean up your mess, I want you on the bridge. Lexter tells me that he's just repaired the Hyperdrive and we're ready to break out of this damn cloud. Listen... there's been a lot of commotion since we got here, so keep teams posted throughout incase anyone else gets restless. We'll be outta here in no time." Caid closed the link and keyed another one in.
"Caid to Dr Vega. There's been an incident, be prepared to accept two bodies for post-mortem."
"Acknowledged, Captain..." responded Vega, before his gloved hand closed the link.
The doctor turned back to another console, where a heavilly encrypted transmission was in progress...it contained a detailed report of his original experiements on crewmen Faro. They were a failure, and although a nosy crewman named Nash had caught on and threatened to expose Vega, the situation was easilly remedied by the current test subject, Dylan Shapiro. Vega waited as the rest of the file was sent to a cloaked Amon'Krie vessel before finally closing the console and shutting down the small lab he had made himself on Deck 12. After all, he had to be back at the Infirmary, he had post-mortems to do.
The Xephyr soared smoothly through Hyperspace while its Captain stood in his ready room, speaking in quiet solitude.
"Captain's starlog, supplimental. Life aboard the Xephyr is starting to relax again... Lt Larece tells me that the cloud we were submerged in accounted for much of the irritation onboard, and although we cannot localize it, we have a good idea of where to avoid for a while. Shapiro and his men have located a suspected traitor by the name of Jake Faro. An investigation will likely ensue as to what exactly Faro had accomplished while onboard, but we wager that he may have been the one to disable the Hyperdrive and trap us conveniently in that cloud. More will be revealed as progress is made. In the meantime however, I look forward to some much needed rest on Iolo III, and have altered course to allow my crew the same opportunity." He closed the log entry and turned back to the view of hyperspace, still somewhat unsure of the situation... But truth comes with time, and patience is something he would soon learn.
Written By Cylapse
Copyright © by the author, posted with permission.
Published on: 2004-05-12 (3497 reads)[ Go Back ] - [ Fan Fiction ] - [ Content Home ]