Breaking in a new saddle??
The New Collective
Stardate 249509

The New Collective

Mission Day:
MD 3, Early
Academy Days


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    Nintey-Nine Problems

    Posted on Wednesday 7 November 2018 @ 21:47 by Lieutenant Colonel Kachiko Bayushi & Lieutenant Michael Ki MD & Lieutenant JG Marbim Rejal & Master Chief Petty Officer Elizabeth Hale

    Mission: The New Collective
    Location: Bridge / Main Engineering
    Timeline: Directly Following "Requiem for a Kidnapping"

    Premise: Stephanie needs the doctor to sign off on her new device, but she will need help to finish it.

    "There's a million you's baby boo, So don't be dumb. I got 99 problems, But you won't be one." - Ariana Grande featuring Iggy Azalea, "Problem"

    =/\= Bridge =/\=

    After being Dismissed from her meeting with the captain, Stephanie strode out of the office. and was waiting at the turbolift impatiently. She was sure the first officer would be right behind her. She pressed the call button and looked around.

    Before she had a moment to contemplate, the First Officer's small hand set gently on Stephanie's back, "Calm, Lieutenant. We need to be prompt, but we should slow down and make sure that we do this right."

    With that, the hatch opened to the empty Lift. Kachiko gently guided the tall redhead aboard.

    Once the two of them were on board, Stephanie turned to Kachiko. "Engineerin'." She ordered the turbolift. "What's botherin' me is yer insistence t' be along f'r th' ride, Commanda. My life is mine t' risk. Yers is na," She crossed her arms and locked eyes with the shorter woman. "Even if we have everythin' spot on, there's still a chance it could go horribly, horribly wrong. One officer is an acceptable loss. Two is na."

    "You are not an acceptable risk, Stephanie," Kachiko retorted. Shaking her white-maned head, she sighed, "There are no acceptable risks when it comes to people's lives."

    "I simply have the ability to know when the risk is too great and can have the plug pulled."

    "Turbolift Halt," Stephanie ordered. "Permission t' Speak freely, Ma'am?" She said, not breaking her gaze.

    "Always, Lieutenant," Kachiko leaned back against the bulkhead.

    "There is na a face ya can put on this that'll make me okay wit' it," The Engineer began. "I'm doin' this because I have t'. Because I couldn' live wit' th' me I'd become if I don'. But I just as bloody well coudn' live with the me that'd let you get hurt just so I can prove I have a bigger technological dick than th' Borg. My ego is na so fragile a thing that it requires a human sacrifice. Please don' put me in a position where I have chose between th' two."

    "I understand your position, Lieutenant. However you're not understanding what I am planning on doing," Kachiko remarked."I merely intend to monitor you while you're in the Matrix. I am more than sufficiently capable of compartmenting my mind to protect that which is me from whatever you may encounter."

    "I'm still fairly dubious about tha'. Even if we minimize every risk factor, there's na escapin' th' potential that this could go way th' feck off th' rails. Turbolift resume."

    =/\= Main Engineering =/\=

    When Stephanie and Kachiko arrived in Main Engineering, Stephanie made a bee-line for her office and tapped her combadge. "O'Hara t' Saren, Rejal and Ki. Will all o' ya please come t' the Engine Room? I've somethin' I'd like ya all t' look at."

    With the comms open, Kachiko added her voice, "Please make it quick, gentlemen."

    Michael sighed as he thought that perhaps one day he would be able to get back to Diagnostics, and investigating the unknowns of medicine. "Whelp, a doctor's work is never done." He said to his empty office, as he grabbed his medical kit and ran from Sick Bay in trot. His thoughts swimming with thoughts of explosions killing everyone down there.

    He trotted into engineering and saw Stephanie and Kachiko. "Commander, Lieutenant is everyone okay down here. What do you need?"

    "Everyone is fine, Doc," Stephanie said reassuringly. "I called ya down here because I've a piece o' equipment I need ya t' take a look at... She gestured behind her, and sitting on the table behind her was something that resembled a bread box, but at four times the size. The lid was open, and parts were laying bare. "I've na finsihed it yet, but I'd like t' wait f'r th' others t' show up so I only have t' explain it once."

    Sliding out of a Jeffries Tube close to Engineering, Miles re-directs two of his staff to go check on another part of the ship. With his tool belt and spare parts bag hanging off his shoulder, and with something smudged on his face, MIles wanders in, "What's up Chief? We found the last 'breach' and got it taken care of, and i've sent my teams to start working on secondary and tertiary issues," when he realizes who is all there he coughs, "Hey Doc, Commander, what's going on?"

    Michael looked at the parts laid out in front of him. "That is exactly what I was wondering." He said to the new arrival, with a small smirk on his face.

    "The Lieutenant and I just left the Captain's office. Miss O'Hara has an idea, but we want your input. However," the Executive Officer was perched atop a cabinet, leaning back against the bulkhead. "We're awaiting one more, Mister Saren. No sense in having to repeat everything after he gets here.

    Stephanie stepped to the front and turned to face the assembled officers. "Lady an' Gentlemen," She gestured to the device as if it were a prize on a game show. "Meet th' Posi-Cortical Virtual Inerface, or PoVI for short," She gave them all what she thought was a moment to be sufficiently impressed before she continued "It's based on th' the work o' Noonien Soong, though it's not anywhere near as sophisticated. It's designed so I can connect t' it via my data port. Th' purpose of it is t' hook a Borg Drone up t' th' other end an' surf inta th' Collective on his subspace carrier wave. Th' device's purpose is twofold. First, It'll mask th' traffic an' make it look like it's comin' from our new Borg Bestie so they won' see anythin' outta the ordinary 'bout it. Second, It's t' shield my brain an' compartmentalize th' data so I don' get overwhelmed by all th' data th' Collective'll throw at me."

    "The plan is simple. Step one, we erect a subspace dampenin' field around Sickbay so no subspace signals can get out. Step two, we identify th' target, beam him directly t' sickbay, immobilize him wit' a surgical containment field an' sedate th' ever lovin' piss outta him. Step three, We plug both o' us in an drop th' field."

    She walked over to the device and patted it once. "Doc, you are here because we need t' use your sickbay, but also because th' Captain won' sign off on th' plan unless ya have declared th' device medically sound. Miles an' Saren can help me work out some o' th' bugs. Th' Commanda..." Stephanie motioned to Kachiko... "Has offered her services t' monitor th' link telepathically an' hopefully pull th' plug if there's a problem."

    She turned to face them and put her hands on her hips. "Ana questions?"

    Michael stood there and listened dumbfounded. He wondered why they always invited the Borg in. They are like vampires of legend. If you invite them in they will destroy you. The doctor thought. He walked over to the device and looked at Stephanie long and hard. "Lieutenant if the Captain has prohibited you from doing anything unless I sign off. I am afraid you are not going to like what I have to say. I cannot sign off on this project or anything like it. There are entirely too many variables and risks. Risks to you Lieutenant O'Hara and risks to the ship and crew. You have some great safety measures in place to protect the Collective from knowing about your presence. However, what you fail to realize is that nanoprobes have sentience in their own right. If you link yourself to the collective through this device there is a risk that the nanoprobes will infect you and assimilate you. There is further a risk that the ship's systems could be assimilated which would allow the collective mind control of this vessel. The risks are too great. I cannot sign off on this project. My apologies." He was genuinely saddened that he had to turn the Engineer down. He could tell she worked hard on the project, but the risks were too great for him to say yes.

    Stephanie frowned deeply at Ki. "An' ye'll dismiss th' idea, pretty as ya please, without so much as lookin' at th' data?" She crossed her arms over her stomach."I expected betta from ya, Doc." She was trying to keep a level, even head and not scream at Ki. She wanted to call him a coward, She wanted to say she didn't need his approval, just his cooperation. Instead, all she could muster was a cold "I know this will work..." She knew if she opened the floodgates of her temper, there would be no closing them.

    Frowning at the 'device' Miles will add his two latinum slips, "Doc, if what you are worried about most are the nanoprobes, we can build in safeguards to keep them on their side of the fence. If they were removed from the equation, what would your thoughts be on the device's efficacy at that point?"

    Stephanie found herself fighting to release the fist that she was balling up. She wanted to scream. She gritted her teeth and turned away from the Doctor only to find herself staring down into the eyes of the First Officer. Her jaw muscles relaxed a little and her expression softened.

    "Lieutenant O'Hara I am sure your data shows that this plan will work. And judging by our goals it will work without question. I can see that you have worked long and hard on formulating this plan. So the issue is not me dismissing it without the data. The issue is that the data does not matter when the risk is life and this ship. My job on this vessel is to make sure that no one gets hurt in any way. I cannot sign on to a plan where there is a risk to life and this ship. After the chat we had in Sick Bay I would have expected better from you." Michael spoke deadpan, that is to say without any feeling in his voice at all. Like most doctors he kept the emotions distant and would release them when ready. He turned to Miles "To address your question if there were no such thing as nanoprobes then yes this would be a sound plan. However, there is such a thing as nanoprobes, and they have gone sentient. At least that is what the latest data tells us. That being the case your safeguards would have to be sentient or have a sentience behind it. One that can checkmate the nanoprobes."

    Stephanie stopped dead in her tracks and got a faraway look in her eye. "Nanoprobes 're semi-sentient, but they're still machines. What's th' common vulnerability among all machines an' computers an' pretty much anythin' with a power source?" She didn't wait for them to answer. "Electro-magnetic pulse!" She exclaimed as if they all should have known what it was. "Th' problem is how d' we generate an EMP strong enough t' keep a Borg an' his probes down without knockin' out all the equipment in sickbay and interruptin' ship's power?"

    "That's easy," Kachiko remarked. "Conduct all of this inside of a Faraday cage. They can keep everything inside protected from external pulses, so it stands to reason that it works inversely."

    "I'm na particularly comfortable with settin' off an EMP on th' ship. I jus' got th' bloody thing fixed!" Stephanie grumbled. "If it gets away from us, it'd completely shut down Starfleet systems. Some o' them t' the point that it'd fuse their power grids an' turn 'em inta paperweights.... An' we're na entirely certain th' Borg haven' developed some adaptation t' shield themselves from it.... So if any o' ya have another idea, I'm all ears."

    Michael took a step back, his mind was all about medicine and saving lives. He did not have a mind for machines. However, he was elated that even though he shot her plan down Stephanie O'Hara simply doubled her efforts to see the job done. For now he was content to observe and report when needed.

    Everyone can tell Miles is thinking about something as he begins softly humming a Klingon opera to himself....then without really looking at anyone he will state, "What if we turn one of our shuttles into a Faraday Cage, and rig it with an emp device ... that way we can beam Chief O'Hara out and get the drone off the ship with little to no damage to the Merlin, and hopefully O'Hara." That's when he'll turn to the Doc, "Will that satisfy your concerns about the safety of the ship, yet still allow you to be able to monitor both O'Hara and the Drone's health?"

    Stephanie considered this for a few moments. "Na bad... But Th' reason I wanted t' use sickbay is because I wanted t' use the surgical restrainin' field t' keep 'im immobilized. Th' PoVI is na even complete yet. I've na enough time t' design an' build a whole new containment system... Especially when we already have one on board that'll do exactly wha' we want it t'. Na a lick o' sense in reiventin' th' wheel if we ain' gotta."

    "We could easily modify a shuttle with a medical bed and suite. If if survives it might be good to have on hand for patients we arent able to beam to the ship..."

    "'Bout how long would it take ya?" Stephanie asked.

    "Well as most of the repairs are done, I can get several teams working on it almost non-stop, so maybe two or three days. I saw that we have some 'spare' bio-medical beds in storage, somewhere, so that will help. And I know we have some extra hull plating that we can use to reinforce the insides of the shuttle should the Drone wan't try and smash its way out, and to help add stability to the shuttle itself. Doc if you want to lend a hand with placement of the bed and ensuring the shielding is up to snuff to hold a Drone that would be great."

    Michael once again found himself wondering why people did not see the big picture with themselves in it. That is to say that they are important as individuals. "Your plan is sound and will protect the Merlin. But as you said probably get O'Hara out. I am not sure we can risk it all on a probably. Suppose you are succesful in getting what you need from this drone. But you are not completely successful that is to say or lovely engineer here becomes what she fought against. All of her knowledge becomes that of the collective. Is that a risk that we are willing to take. The medical journals and mission logs of the Starfleet are filled with tales of when starships take a drone aboard for one reason or another. Yet none of those logs end well for the ships in question."

    Michael paused as he looked toward the XO. Yes she was the key he thought. "Commander, if you as the senior most officer present are comfortable with risking this ship's engineer and everything she knows. Then I will do my best to make sure that the Lieutenant is here in the morning to scream at me. So how about it Commander?" His face bent into a sympathetic smile.

    Kachiko arched an eyebrow with amusement, "Qui audet adipiscitur. For those here whom don't know old Latin, 'Who dares, wins.' Simply put, I always fear for everyone's safety at all hours. However, Risk is Our Business."

    "Aren't ya supposed t' reassure yer patients?" Stephanie asked, grimacing at Ki. "I've met Klingons who sounded less grim... I mean sure... They thought they were gonna die, but at least they sounded happy 'bout it..." You just sounded like ya were readin' m' eulogy." She shook her head. "I'm surprised Starfleet Medical lets ya practice wit' a bedside manor like that... It's na like I'm na nervous enough about tossin' m' noodle inta th' lion's den."

    "My bedside manner is perfectly fine. I am a realist, I am not going to sugar coat it for you Lieutenant. This mission has more flaws and risks then one can count. So you will have to forgive me if I am not excited at the prospect of losing a patient and valued member of this crew to a senseless act. You say my talk makes you nervous, then let me tell you something. It is not what I am saying but the prospect of the mission that is making you nervous. One should not take on a mission unless one is confident in success. But look who I am talking to, so I won't waste my breath. You brought me here to seek my advice and blessing on this mission. Well you ignore my advice, so I will be informing the Captain that as the Chief Medical Officer I cannot sign off on this plan. You do what you will..." Michael let his voice trail off as he walked from Engineering. He had a mission of his own to prepare for, that of most likely saving the engineer's life.

    She rolled her eyes and turned to Miles. "Then let's get th' lead out, Mista Rejal. If ya need any o' m' staff, use 'em as ya see fit.

    Grinning Miles hasa to add, "Doc'd be a great Klingon physician, in your case, I concure with his bedside manner. We hope that you are just as loveable after you're done digging through the drone's head as you are now." Shifting hid gaze to the marine in the group he will add, "Commander, I will need to commandeer a shuttle, maybe one of the smaller ones to retorfit as our Borq Interrogation Chamber...have any in mind?"

    "So who's gonna fly the shuttle?" Stephanie asked. "I can't get the PoVI runnin' an' fly, an' I sure as shite don' trust th' autopilot durin' a Borg attack."

    "I will, that way I can keep tabs on the power systems, and you, and can then get us the hell out of there should the drone prove too much, or I could leave you with the drone should someone bribe me, any takers?" Miles looks at all those in the room with his hand out and a puppy-dog eyes, or his best impression of them.

    "That more or less completely fails t' inspire confidence," Stephanie frowned. "But real talk... If it's all goin' t' Hell, I expect ya t' leave m' happy arse in th' shuttle an' save yerself. If I could order ya to, I would."

    Shaking his head, Miles place his hand on her shoulder, "Sorry, but us Chief's gotta stick together, through hell and high water," he leans in closer, but is whisper can be heard by the others, "besides if something happens to us, no one else knows how to fix this lady like we do, so we gotta live!"

    Kachiko looked between the assembled officers a brief moment, before, "Work up your proposal and get it up to me and the Captain before you do anything. The Captain's still skeptical and we need this to be cleared by him before we move on it."


    Lieutenant JG Marbim Rejal
    Chief of Operations
    USS Merlin

    LTjg Stephanie O'Hara
    Chief Engineer
    USS Merlin

    Lieutenant Michael Ki MD
    Chief Medical Officer
    USS Merlin

    Commander Bayushi Kachiko
    First Officer, USS Merlin


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