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AT/E01 - Utopia Planitia R&D Station: Administration Office


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#1 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 22205.10 @ 15:01 (03:01 PM)

==

#2 GM-19

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Posted Star Date 22205.12 @ 06:57 (06:57 AM)

An expansive foyer is the primary entrance area to Administrative Offices for the research facility. A large dark wood desk features prominently before a hallway secured with a sliding glass door – where a support officer would normally sit and greet arrivals to the offices. Along the outer edge of the carpeted foyer are plenty of plants, chairs, and small tables for those who need to wait. Two replicators – one across from the other – are in the walls allowing guests to get refreshments as needed.

 

Beyond the sliding glass door are a few offices, a conference room, refresher station, and a communication suite that allows for secure connection comms. Two lead researcher offices – science and engineering – are the first rooms before one for the senior support officer. Another smaller waiting area comes just before the Director’s office. It is obvious that the administration area is well kept, the carpet looking vibrant, and the entire area is fastidiously clean.

 

The Director’s office is large itself, consisting of a few separate rooms. Upon entering there is a smaller office with a desk and is usually occupied by a Yeoman who provides clerical support to the Director. Two large wooden doors are at the back of that room which then leads into the primary office.

 

Open and welcoming, the main office is decorated in rich and deep desert colors. The dark interior is offset by a panoramic view of the Utopia plains that takes up the entire back wall – a small desk and chair are all that obstruct the view. There are two separate sitting areas with one including a sectional couch. In one of the sitting areas is a floor-to-ceiling desert terrarium filled with native and non-native flora. Other rooms within the Director’s office include a refresher station, a meditation area, and a communication suite.

 



#3 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 22205.13 @ 23:57 (11:57 PM)

>> Transporter Room >>
 
The expansive foyer of the administrative offices had seemed like the most discrete and least disruptive location to beam into and it allowed Tyra to have almost immediate access to Commander Sakht, who the admiral had indicated was the station director and the best source of information. Beaming directly into the foyer had the added bonus of making it quite difficult for the commander to ignore their presence if he was feeling less than cooperative and frankly, Tyra didn't have the patience for such games at the moment.
 
Of course, she expected the commander to be cagey in an attempt to cover his own *** and those of his people but in doing so, all he would do was make it more difficult for her to find the culprit and clear his people and himself of culpability. That was something she would very likely need to drill into him but it was also expected. No commander wanted an outside force brought in to fix their mess, whether caused by their own shortcomings or not. Hopefully, the commander was more insightful than she was giving him credit for but years in security taught her to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.
 
As the first group fully materialized, her blue eyes swept over the area and for a moment, she had to pause, her brow furrowing just slightly. Clearly, the R&D facility's administrative area had been designed by the same individual that had designed the upper deck of Starbase Delta with the dark wood accents and the copious amounts of glass. For a second, it took Tyra back to a different time when she was still assigned to the Avenger and still attached to the 4th Fleet out of Delta, before the Krynar and before the conflict between the 1st and 4th. When the biggest headache she had was the rumors that she was sleeping her way to command via Thomas and his status as Fleet Commander. It was funny how those rumors had died rather suddenly when he'd retired and a divorce decree hadn't been issued shortly afterwards. 
 
She shook her head and pushed aside memories of a different mahogany accented office space, her attention landing on the young support officer in the process. No doubt there sudden appearance was both confusing and alarming, though she hoped the admiral had prepared, at least, the commander for them.
 
"Excuse me," she called out as she took the few steps to reach the desk. "I need to speak to Commander Sakht immediately. It is incredibly important -- he should be expecting me. Well, us," she said, purposefully avoiding identifying herself in the hope that the support staff member would accept the confident tone without further question.  "He knows what it is in regards to."
 
== Tag Mr/Ms GM! ==


#4 Lt Robin Mayfair

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Posted Star Date 22205.14 @ 00:23 (12:23 AM)

Robin's first impression of the facility was rather positive. As the transporter beam faded, the young nurse was relieved to see a fairly normal office, tastefully decorated (in her opinion). Wood and glass were prominent, with quite a few plants, and she found the effect welcoming. Too much Federation decoration relied on overuse of metal and holograms, as far as she was concerned. 

 

Whatever the Captain's thoughts, she was all business. "Excuse me," Tyra called out as she took the few steps to reach the desk. "I need to speak to Commander Sakht immediately. It is incredibly important -- he should be expecting me. Well, us. He knows what it is in regards to." 

 

The new CMO couldn't help but take mental notes at Captain Crawford's demeanor. Like it or not, she'd been thrust into a department head position that she'd never expected to be offered (even if it might end up being only temporary), and she had to start learning the fine art of command. She doubted that with her slight frame and silly purple hair she'd ever be intimidating, but part of learning to be a leader was how you behaved... if you expected to be obeyed, a lot of people would fall in line. 

 

She didn't follow the Captain, instead waiting for the support officer's reaction. 



#5 GM-19

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Posted Star Date 22205.15 @ 08:03 (08:03 AM)

The honey-blonde haired Kazarite was surprised to see the group materialize in the foyer and tugged at a small leather pouch from around his neck anxiously. The reaction was short-lived and he seemed to compose himself quickly. Stepping out from behind the desk to greet the party, the support officer waited as Tyra spoke.

 

“Of course. Commander Sakht gave strict instructions to bring you,” he stopped and looked over the gathered officers.

 

“To bring you and your team into his office once you arrived. If you would please follow me.”

 

With a small gesture toward the sliding glass door the crewman recruit led the group down the hallway. As the away team passed by the offices, it seemed that the administration area was empty of the usual staff. No one was in any of the shared spaces, and doors to offices were closed – there were no other sounds except for them walking.

 

As the group reached the secondary waiting room, the wood panel door slid open automatically to reveal the small office before a set of large wooden double doors. The Kazarite knocked twice in quick succession on a door before opening it manually. The door swung open inwardly to reveal the richly themed office. At the back set of windows where the crew could see a view of the Utopia plains, a lone figure was standing at a small desk.

 

“The team you were expecting have arrived sir,” the Kazarite said in his lilting voice, stepping inside just enough to make way for Tyra and her crew.

 

“Indeed. Thank you Chaas. You stand relieved. Join the others in the mess hall or return to your quarters,” Sakht’s low, cultured voice carried to the back of the room.

 

“Yes sir,” Chaas waited for the away team to funnel into the office before departing.

 

Commander Sakht carefully placed a palm-sized PADD on the desk before walking toward Tyra. To just about everyone who had ever met a Vulcan, Sakht seemed different. The way the 6’3” commander carried himself was more human than Vulcan, as was his facial expression – he seemed to have the trace of a smile. What the director projected was a warm and confident personality type, far from cold and dispassionate. Some might also consider the director to be handsome – dark hair, a fit athletic body type, ocean blue eyes, prominent chin, and symmetrical facial features.

 

“Captain Crawford, welcome to Utopia Planitia. I am Commander Sakht.”

 

He then looked over Tyra’s shoulder to address the crew behind her.

 

“I am grateful to meet your acquaintances.”

 

Then the commander seemed to shift to business with Tyra, offering a seat – but not taking one – at the larger sectional.

 

“The facility is currently in lockdown. Staff have not been told what event triggered the protocol, but have been instructed to shelter in place – within the mess hall or their quarters. The station security chief is Lieutenant Kersel. He and his team are supervising staff in the mess hall.”

 

“As I have declared to Admiral Hokku, we will cooperate with this investigation fully. I do ask that some considerations be made for the staff. Many are anxious, frustrated, or overwhelmed by this disruption – and that they be treated with respect and a modicum of compassion. If and as you direct, I will render assistance in these matters until the perpetrator is detained.”

 



#6 Lt Aeryn Miller

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Posted Star Date 22205.15 @ 10:24 (10:24 AM)

>> Transporter Room >>
 
Once materialisation had subsided, Aeryn didn't waste any time in taking stock of their surroundings. Their choice of beam in location was the most practical as she looked around, taking notice of the layout and how it looked like a comfortable working environment. If things had been different then Aeryn would have liked to take a proper tour as so far she had only heard about Utopia Planitia. Something else that had taken her attention was how empty it felt, no doubt due to the lockdown that was in effect.
 
They may have gone for welcoming but that image had been marred slightly but Aeryn appreciated all the same. With Calleja tasked with sticking close to the CO, the Redhead kept to the rear of the group, purely as a tactical move. Add in experience and Aeryn was naturally wary. As they followed the CO onward, Aeryn remained where she was as Crawford spoke with a Yeoman. The Kazarite's surprise at seeing them was to be expected given the timing of their arrival before he led them to the Director.
 
More closed doors and only their group being present might be slightly unnerving to some but Aeryn didn't think too much about it as the open and welcoming theme continued. The view of the Utopia plains in front of them was impressive as the Yeoman introduced them and allowed the group to filter into the office. Commander Sakht wasn't quite like the Vulcans that Aeryn knew and well she didn't know what to make of him initially. He appeared to be friendly enough as he greeted them all before getting down to business.
 
He didn't mess about in Aeryn's opinion as she listened to what he had to say and so far there didn't seem to be anything to be concerned about. She also understood his position and where he was coming from and ultimately if they worked together, then maybe this would have a more positive outcome. 


#7 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 22205.16 @ 00:10 (12:10 AM)

The initial reaction of the younger Kazarite behind the reception desk had caused Tyra's eyes to narrow just a fraction as she evaluated what was likely a nervous tick. It was the type of unexplained reaction that usually set security guards on edge, particularly with how threats had evolved over the years, but experience had kept her from reacting on pure instinct to such a inert tick. They might potentially have wolf in the lambs pen but that didn't mean every person needed to be treated with hostility or suspicion, not yet at least.

“Of course. Commander Sakht gave strict instructions to bring you,” the support officer said after recovering and stepping out from behind the desk. “To bring you and your team into his office once you arrived. If you would please follow me.”

Tyra merely nodded, motioning for the team to follow along through the doors into the heart of the administrative area. As they walked, it appeared that the area was entirely empty and it appeared that not only was the station locked down but it's personnel were locked down, likely to the living areas. That meant that it would likely be impossible to hide their presence among normal activities, as there would be none, but it also meant that it should be easier for them to identify unusual activities. If everyone was locked down, either their thief had obeyed and was trapped, which meant pressure would likely cause a crack, or they were roaming the station, either authorized or not. If not authorized, it probably wouldn't be hard to find them... in theory.

The crewman recruit stopped at a door and knocked, prior to announcing their arrival. As Tyra stepped in, she was once more reminded of Starbase Delta but that quick, warm remembrance was short lived as her blue eyes fell on the lone occupant of the room. As she had suspected from the name, the commander was Vulcan but just at a glance, he didn't appear to carry himself with the stiffness that was a Hallmark of the species. His facial expression seemed to further fall in line with that observation as he turned to greet the team.

“Captain Crawford, welcome to Utopia Planitia. I am Commander Sakht.”

"Thank you, Commander. I wish we were here under better circumstances," Tyra answered respectfully. While she might outrank the commander, this was still his post and she would treat him with the respect that she would want to be treated with aboard Artemis.

With the formalities over, it seemed they shifted quickly to business with Tyra waving away the offer of a seat while they spoke. “The facility is currently in lockdown. Staff have not been told what event triggered the protocol, but have been instructed to shelter in place – within the mess hall or their quarters. The station security chief is Lieutenant Kersel. He and his team are supervising staff in the mess hall.”

Tyra merely nodded her head, making note of any questions that info had brought to the surface.

“As I have declared to Admiral Hokku, we will cooperate with this investigation fully. I do ask that some considerations be made for the staff. Many are anxious, frustrated, or overwhelmed by this disruption – and that they be treated with respect and a modicum of compassion. If and as you direct, I will render assistance in these matters until the perpetrator is detained.”

As a commanding officer, she understood where his concern was coming from and she could absolutely empathize with it, even though it seemed like another indicator that there was more to the Commander than met the eye. In his shoes, her biggest concern, after catching the thief and recovering the data, would be the treatment of crew and the prevention of a witch hunt targeting them. Frankly, he was their only advocate and he had to know that.

"I promise that your people will be treated like I would want mine to be treated in the same situation, with respect and empathy. That has a reverse side though; I hold my people to high standards and if I start coming across lies and subterfuge, I'm likely to put a boot up someone's *** until they tell me the truth. We're not here to hang anyone out to dry or to point any fingers. In fact, I will be quite happy if I can come back into this office later and tell you it was an outside job with no assistance from any staff members. Our goal is to find the culprit and recover the stolen resources, not ruin careers," she said firmly.

"Hokku gave me a very brief rundown but no real specifics. We'll need someone to give us a rundown on the hard facts: how, when, where, etc.," she stated matter of factedly, assuming that the Commander would point them towards security for that information. However, there was foundation laying information that they needed from him that couldn't be outsourced.

"How long have you been in command of the station, Commander? Has Lieutenant... Kersel, I believe you said, been assigned as the Chief of Security for much of your command? Is he trustworthy?" She paused to allow him to consider that before diving into deeper, murkier water. "Have you been briefed on any recent security concerns or on individuals behaving unusually? Is there any reason to believe that this moment in time was chosen specifically?"

Her questions were asked slowly and precisely, like someone who was comfortable and trained in the art of digging out information. In an ideal world, where they had all the time in the world, she would have asked each question independently but much like the admiral, Tyra understood that time wasn't on their side. They couldn't afford to waste immense amounts of time digging through mountains of information for kernels of truth but she needed those base facts that everything else rested on.

== Tag GM! ==

Edited by Capt Tyra Crawford, Star Date 22205.16 @ 01:13 (01:13 AM).


#8 Lt(JG) Lucy Devereaux

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Posted Star Date 22205.18 @ 15:30 (03:30 PM)

Lucy tried to be polite about the décor of the Administration Office. It was okay. The amount of glass was concerning and it played with the visitor’s sense of scale. It probably wasn’t a bad suite of offices. The panoramic view of the Utopia Planitia plain was nice. She hoped somebody had done their research regarding the terrarium. She was a little surprised that Mars had native desert flora or that it interacted well with other desert flora. She started to wonder out far behind she was in xenobotany.

 

The receptionist for the Commander was a bit of a surprise. Lucy had a vague recollection of seeing an old image of a Kazarite. The wide and varied life of the galaxy. The poor soul had been assigned to greet the team upon arrival and take them to see the Commander. There was a degree of tension in the air. The offices the team passed were empty offices.

 

Sakht was a conundrum. Either he had learnt how to be around multiple species or he was half-Romulan. Vulcans were usually paragons of stoicism, yet this one came across as warm and collected. A smiling Vulcan was not something Lucy was used to. This one was balanced adhering to protocol while caring for the R&D staff.

 

Shelter?

 

Lucy wanted to know if that would make it some kind of containment issue, but she was quite happy to let Captain Crawford do the talking. That was one scary lady. Fearsome and caring. She didn’t know if she’d measure up to the Captain’s standard, but she had an opportunity for growth. Lucy really hoped she wouldn’t screw it up. It felt weird with the Away Team standing in the Commander’s office. It would be better to wait until the Captain gave them their marching orders.

 



#9 Lt Robin Mayfair

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Posted Star Date 22205.18 @ 20:48 (08:48 PM)

Commander Sakht wasn't what Robin had expected. For a Vulcan he he was almost warm, meaning wasn't completely stiff. Nonetheless, the Captain was all business. The Commander was concerned with his staff, of course, and was worried (if that was the right word for a Vulcan) that his staff wouldn't be treated with respect and compassion. The Captain reassured him that they would... before jumping in with some basic questions.

 

If the crew is in lockdown in their quarters or the mess hall, who's maintaining the lockdown? Security? You can't do that on the honor system, someone has to make sure people aren't wandering. And you can't just trust camera systems and sensors to maintain it for you; too easy for a skilled person to bypass... especially if the thief was from Security in the first place. 

 

The young nurse almost had to laugh at herself. This was so not her field of expertise, and her 'knowledge' of investigation came from 1940s pulp novels involving cynical detectives who drank too much and usually hooked up with mysterious dames. She'd read all the Dixon Hill books as a teenager. Not exactly useful here. 

 

Fine. Do what you can, what you are good at. Observe. Listen. Analyze. The Captain will give us our orders soon enough.



#10 GM-19

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Posted Star Date 22205.20 @ 02:11 (02:11 AM)

== A correction to the area description as brought up by Deveraux. The desert terrarium is filled with species of flora native to the Sol system, not to Mars specifically. ==

 

Sakht nodded in appreciation when Tyra confirmed that his staff would be treated well. Though she did get a full Vulcan brow-raise with her expletive. The response was short lived, and the station director nodded in agreement with what Crawford was saying – he understood that any obstruction would not be tolerated. Then Commander Sakht seemed to stiffen just a bit under the onslaught of questions – a certain stoicism taking hold of his expression.

 

“I have been in command of the station for 11 months and 18 days. Lieutenant Kersel has held the Chief of Security position for 2 years, 5 months, and 11 days.”

 

There was a slight pause from Sakht, and his face softened.

 

“When I first took this post, Lieutenant Kersel did seem to have a solid – if predictable – grasp on station security. Lamentably within the last 5 months his performance has been less than satisfactory. He lacks ambition, is cynical, and frequently avoids his duties. The lieutenant will sometimes attempt to hide his indolence or pass blame to others. When confronted, he will correct his behavior for a time. To my knowledge, Lieutenant Kersel is not actively subversive – but has simply lost his… drive.”

 

“In this last month, there have been several security issues – most applicable to the security system itself. Though there have been 4 minor thefts, including a laboratory pass which was promptly deactivated. There is always tension among the researchers – many are eclectic, determined individuals with strong egos, who are enduringly stressed about their research. Sometimes security is called to separate individuals, or investigate empty threats.”

 

“Speaking to timing, this was the most opportune moment for a theft of research. Many of the researchers are away at a conference on Luna. With reduced personnel on station, I also authorized many security officers for training and participation in a Velocity tournament. I did request and receive temporary assignments of new recruits from the Academy to ensure all shifts were properly covered.”

 

“As to the specifics. Whereas I would normally refer you to Lieutenant Kersel, I believe it would be best for me to provide my knowledge of the situation. Approximately 3.5 hours ago, during a scheduled diagnostic of the security systems, there was a violation of protocol – someone in a suit, seemingly of Breen make or origin, entered the primary research facility. Normally no one is allowed to enter the facility during the diagnostic. It is cleared by security of personnel and access points are locked. This individual would have had to force their entry into the facility. After the diagnostic had finished – and security reviewed the results – Lieutenant Kersel discovered that some entry consoles had been damaged. A further review was then made. Upon discovery of the data breach, the facility was locked down with both Star Fleet Command and SECCOM being informed. Admiral Hokku immediately ordered that station security stand down.”

 

“While only one individual was seen in a frame of security footage, it takes two individuals in order to remove data from the computer. There are two separate access points – located on two levels – that must be used in tandem for subsequent download to be authorized by the computer. Because the facility is on lockdown, and our security asked to remit themselves from the investigation, no further evidence has been obtained.”

 



#11 Lt(JG) Lucy Devereaux

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Posted Star Date 22205.23 @ 13:24 (01:24 PM)

Lucy listened with increasing bewilderment to Commander Sakht. This was Star Fleet’s premier research facility for ship related stuff or at least one of them and there was something up with the Chief of Security. There was something seriously up with the whole damn facility. Was this really what happened when you stuck a load of ‘professionals’ together? Security had been separating individuals and what made Sakht so certain that the threats were empty? Stress testing the security protocols under the guise of professional dispute.

 

There was enough evidence to indicate that the disruption had been planned. Minor thefts, including that of a laboratory pass. Sure, it had been deactivated, but what could a person learn from the construction of the pass itself? A number of the research researchers were at a conference on Luna and a sizable chunk of the security officers were at some Velocity tournament. Lucy wasn’t familiar with the sport, but it must be something that appealed to the current security crew.

 

There was mention of temporary assignments from the Academy to cover the gaps. These would have to be people with the correct authorisations and proven experience. You certainly didn’t bring cadets to a facility like this. How hard would it be to wait for the perfect opportunity? The trick would be getting assigned to cover detail and having a contact already placed in the facility to match the timing.

 

This is a special kind of complicated. Why steal research when you could get a ship with an operational slipstream drive to come to you? Oh ****! Yeah no, that can’t be it.

 

Breaking protocol wasn’t that hard, as long as you were sure you could get away with it. Lay low and wait for the dust to settle. The suit was on camera, so that could be assessed. The breach of the primary research facility had involved damaging a number of entry consoles. Kinda like changing shoes to confuse a trail. It was a good system to have tandem login at separate access points. There was the possibility that it meant a minimum of a two-person crew or three if the person in the suit was the distraction element to confuse things.

 

What did Sakht mean by security asking to remit themselves from the investigation? Lucy wasn’t familiar with the term. Somebody would need to assess what had been downloaded. How were downloads tracked? She was glad not to be the one doing the interviewing. Kersel sounded like a pain, but she thought she understood how somebody could view a new arrival taking over after you’d been there for longer. There was the question of whether Kersel had been playing along for the first few months then falling back into type?

 

This ain’t gonna be easy.

 



#12 Lt Robin Mayfair

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Posted Star Date 22205.24 @ 00:05 (12:05 AM)

Things were worse than Robin had thought. This was Utopia Planitia, one of the Federation's leading research facilities regarding starship technologies... and now the away team was learning that their head of Security was a slacker who was shirking his duties.

 

Here? This should be one of the most secure places in the Federation. A dust mite shouldn't be able to get in here without passing a background check. Why wasn't Kersel replaced when it became clear that he wasn't performing? The presence of research data on the Slipstream Drive alone would justify massive security and multiple safeguards. 

 

The purple-haired nurse kept quiet and her face impassive. She was sure that the Captain would have similar concerns, having had a background in Security herself. That sort of thing wouldn't have been permitted aboard the Artemis. 

 

I want a crack at that Breen suit. There may be information that I can glean with a medical tricorder that wouldn't show up with a standard one. Won't help if it really was a Breen, but I'm thinking it wasn't. A Breen wouldn't leave his suit behind, especially if they really do need them to live. I might be able to find shed skin cells, hairs, and the like from our thief. Humanoids shed those constantly, and in amounts that gross out most people when they hear about it. 

 

Robin resolved to speak to the Captain about it when she was handing out assignments, but not within earshot of Sakht.