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Count(less) Coup : part ONE

Posted on 19 Jan 2021 @ 5:24am by Lieutenant Lex D'Gracefull & Lieutenant Gabriel Walker

Mission: Heading Home
Location: Brig:: USS Mark Miller
Timeline: SD242012.19
Tags: count less coup, Swedish meatballs

::Deck Four,  Jefferies Tube 5C::

Gabe's lips pursed as he held in the sigh.  He wanted to believe that it was just a stupid, idiotic rumor going around the ship that engineering crewmen were challenging each other to go through the ship and into an area that is highly restricted.  It just seemed like such a juvenile idea and beneath even enlisted Starfleet personnel.

Yet, as the two crewmen passed by his location, headed in a direction that can only take them to the very area they 'challenged' each other to get into.  Without getting caught.  So, they failed all the way around.  He waited for the count of fifteen before he stepped out into the hall and padded down the corridor behind them.  Their attempts to be quiet and sneak were impressively bad as well.

"I don't know why it's there," the crewman said to the other.  No doubt discovering the restriction field placed just before the hatch leading into the area.

"Because it's a restricted area, perhaps?" Gabe said as he folded his arms across his chest and planted his feet.  He glared at the two young men.  "It's also unfortunate for you that attempting to get into the area without clearance is equal to actually getting in.  But, you'll be glad to know the ship's brig is fully functional."

The first crewman, oblivious to his surroundings, said to the other "Ed, I thought you said that gizmo of yours kept us off sensors, so why did you stop?"

The second crewman looked back and forth between where they were going and the imposing Security Officer, that was now standing in the way between them and freedom, then spoke to the first one. "Well Ralph, I said it was a work in progress, that we needed to test it, but obviously it doesn't work against loose lips. I told you to tell no one!"

Ralph, the least intelligent looking of the two said "I didn't tell anyone, Erick, is my brother, he can keep a secret! Besides how else are we going to get rich if we don't brag?"

Ed said, "Well how are we going to enhance our piggy banks, sitting in the brig?"

Ralph at this point, noticing the burly Security Officer behind them, said "ED, what do we do now? Make a run for it?"

Ed said, "Don't move a muscle, these security types enjoy a game of cat and mouse, and I want to live! I heard he killed 4 Nausicaan's in a bar fight, so don't look threatening!"

"That's not true," Gabe said, still glowering.  "The story is six and it was because they were singing off key at religious services."

Ralph looked a little nauseous and said " We surrender, don't kill us!" while raising his hands.

::Main Engineering::

Lt Lex'EL was in his office, looking at a dish that the replicator had issued when he had said surprise me... That was the last time he was going to say that to the computer. Lt Lex'EL looked at the white sauce covering round balls of a meat looking substance, he asked the computer" Computer, just what is this stuff you served me?"

The computer replied [ Breen, Sweedish meat balls, köttbullar, dumplings and snowflakes, polpette, kofta, albondigas, kwari bilbeidkeftedes, chitol macher kofta, albondigas, Skilpadjies, Frikadeller, Königsbeger Klopse...]

Lt Lex'EL interrupted the computer and said "STOP!, I don't want to know!" Just then his com-badge went off making him forget his current food dilemma. Wondering who would be calling this lake in the evening,  Lt Lex'EL hit his com-badge and said +taps+  Lt Lex'EL, go ahead."

"Lieutenant, this is Senior Chief Petty Officer Sarkasian on behalf of Lieutenant Gabriel Walker, Security Chief.  Per regulations, I am informing you two of your personnel were taken into custody a short time ago.  They are currently in the brig."

Lt Lex'EL said in rapid-fire staccato sentences "My first bar fight, those were the days, I will be down shortly to get them out. Were there any damages do they require medical attention? What is the protocol to get them out anyway?"

"Perhaps you, Lieutenant, should take those questions up with Lieutenant Walker?" Sarkasian asked, his voice very level with only a hint of 'perturbed' that he was being asked to relay messages between officers.

Once Senior Chief Petty Officer Sarkasian had signed off, Lt Lex'EL asked the computer "Computer, who is the Engineering personnel, that are currently confined in the brig?"

The computer replied [The two Engineering personnel that are currently confined to the brig, are EM3 Edward Burry, and Crewman Leroy "Ralph" Dingman.] Lt Lex'EL replied, "Computer, What are they doing there?" The computer replied [Petty Officer Third Class Edward Burry, and Crewman Leroy "Ralph" Dingman were detained by the chief Tactical/Security officer Lutinent Gabrel Walker and placed under confinement.] Lt Lex'EL then asked, "Why were Dingman and Burry arrested?" The computer replied [Petty Officer Third Class Edward Burry, and Leroy "Ralph" Dingman were placed under military apprehension for trying to access a restricted area,  accessing a restricted area, and breaking and entering a military-controlled checkpoint.]

Lt Lex'EL was really confused at this point and asked "Computer, just where were these two crewmen trying to get to?" `The computer replied [Petty Officer Third Class Edward Burry, and Leroy "Ralph" Dingman did not appear on ships internal sensors at the time of apprehension.] This had Lt Lex'EL worried, so he immediately walked out and over to the main Engineering control consoles. Lt Lex'EL said, "Computer, perform a level 4 diagnostic on the internal sensor system, report problems!" the computer acknowledged the command, then after a small delay, reported [There currently are no significant problems with the internal sensor system.]

Lt Lex'EL then asked the computer "Why did Burry and Dingman, not show up on the internal sensor's" The computer replied [Unknown]. Lt Lex'EL asked the computer "Computer, what was the location where Dingman and Burry were detained?" The computer replied [Petty Officer Third Class Edward Burry and Crewman Leroy "Ralph" Dingman were detained in the access to the ship's armory.]

Lt Lex'EL hated trying to get information from the computer, some times you had to be sneaky and ask the right question just to get the information you needed.

Lt Lex'EL replied "Wait, that area is classified a Restricted Area for the general crew, they are Engineering staff, wait... I don't have any maintenance going on there... what's going on?" Lt Lex'EL was more confused at this point and said "Computer what is the location of Chief Laconse? [The computer replied chief Laconse is on Deck two, in the Enlisted Crew Mess/Lounge]

Lt Lex'EL hit his comm badge +taps+ Chief Petty Officer Laconse, Lt Lex'EL, sorry to interrupt your meal, but we have a problem, Dingman and Burry were detained, trying to sneak into the ship's armory.

Chief Petty Officer Laconse was a colorful character, and the reply "Poking Ding-MO" was about what was expected then "I will be there in 5 minutes."

Lt Lex'EL pulled up the personnel file on Leroy "Ralph" Dingman and saw that Crewman Dingman preferred being addressed as Ralph, because Crewman Dingman did not like his first name Leroy. Crewman Dingman had been promoted to Petty Officer Third Class two times, then reduced in rank twice due to disciplinary problems, one of which was starting an electrical fire. Lt Lex'EL pulled up that incident report. On his prior assignment, which was a destroyer, Crewman Dingman had jury-rigged a self-sealing stem bolt into a power distribution system controller, and the stated reason was "The system kept tripping, and I was tired of walking down to reset it!." The report stated that the introduction of the self-sealing stem bolt, to keep the system from tripping due to the fault, caused a cascade failure, while not bad in itself, but the resulting excess power consumption by the pannel caused it to overload, which discharged plasma on to the starboard lateral sensor control system, taking the starboard lateral sensor's offline until the system could be repaired. The fact that this was while the ship was at warp, was even more concerning.

Chief Petty Officer Laconse walked in while Lt Lex'EL was reviewing the starboard lateral sensor incident in Crewman Dingman's record and said "So, I see you have read up on my problem child, Crewman Dingmon has been busted twice, once while working for me." 

Lt Lex'EL said, "That is only half the problem, they didn't show up on internal sensors when they were detained for trying to sneak into the ship's armory. I was looking into this and did a level 4 diagnostics. No significant problems were discovered. The main worry is that I can't find any reason why the internal sensors didn't log their location for the last two hours. I thought it was better to let them cool their heels in the brig until we can get to the bottom of this." Cheif Laconse walked over to the other console and pulled up the internal sensor system and started poking around.

Gabe checked his watch.  He honestly thought their department chief would have arrived sooner to demand their release.  It was almost surprising enough that he felt like reaching out and finding out what the Engineer was doing instead but...considering all the details, he knew he wouldn't.  Besides, it would do the crew more good to hear how the crewmen were thrown in the brig for their audacity.  Perhaps keep more of the enlisted crew from getting up to 'hijinks' and, truth be told, put a bit of real-world fear into the rest of the squinty crew.

Lt Lex'EL sent a Memo, apologizing for the late hour, but wondered if Lt Walker had a few moments to talk about the errant crew members.

Technically, since they were in drydock at the station, Gabe did have some time to meet with the Engineer over this issue, but that didn't mean he wanted to have the time.  However, with a sigh, he sent back the terse and very brief message that he did, in his office.  He sure as hell wasn't going to go down to Engineering to discuss the problem caused by the engineering staff.  

Lt Lex'EL headed out of Engineering to visit the Chief of Security. Taking the Turbo life up to Deck 4. Lt Lex'EL walked over to the brig and headed to the Chief of Security's office. Knocking on the door, Lt Lex'EL waited for the answer to his knock.

Out of sheer habit, Gabe hit the button that would have, had they not been in dock, scrambled the feeds on the screens attached to the wall behind his desk.  Then, sitting back in his chair he gave the command to 'Enter' that allowed the door to open.  He wasn't surprised to see the Chief Engineer but did try to hide his scowl at the time it took for him to arrive.

Lt Lex'EL Said " We may have a problem, somehow my two Engineering crew figured out a way to hide from the computer and internal sensors, my team is doing a full diagnostic and trying to understand how they did it."

Gabe's scowl deepened.  "They took off their commbadges and left them in their quarters."  it was a simple answer and, the lack of commbadges was noted immediately, where they were located took a very brief scan of the ship.  "It made it easy to 'avoid detection' by the computer. Their annoying bragging about their 'game' was harder to avoid detecting, however."

Lt Lex'EL Said, "That would explain half of the problem, but they didn't show up on ships internal sensor network, the first time they used anything, the computer should have notified department heads and the chain of command, starting with Security! Unless they somehow avoided using the turbo-lifts and Jefferies tubes. Did they say anything? Or did they have any unusual equipment on them?"

"They said 'please don't kill us'," Gabe said, his tone and expression flat and blank.

Lt Lex'EL said, " I can understand that!"

"As for any property on them, I'd have to check with the brig officers who processed them into custody.  Is there anything specific we should be asking about?"

Lt Lex'EL said, " I think I will let them cool their heels until I get to the bottom of this.. as a lot of people are going to lose sleep over this. Do you mind if I go see the duty Brig officer to look at their inventory?"

Yes was the immediate thought but he held it back because, well, if they were screwing with the ship's systems then they would need to know about it.  From their thoughts, they weren't the only ones that were in on this 'game' and others may have the same capability.  He was sure, however, once the security systems went fully online, whatever method they were using would be nullified but...well...

He stood and grabbed his PaDD, "Turn right outside the door," he said, indicating the engineer should proceed him.

[ To Be Continued ]

Lieutenant Gabriel Walker
Chief Security/Tactical Officer


Lieutenant Lex D'Gracefull
Chief Engineering Officer




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