Time for a Rescue
Davmorda was in the captain’s chair looking over reports. As the Tornado was slowly orbiting the Klingon Station she had been getting regular reports of SoK ships departing. Some remained still but the population was becoming more in favor of the Empire. There was nothing overly concerning about the situation but Rex’s marine training surfaced and she felt a bit uneasy.
“Captain,” said Lewis Hamilton at the helm, “we are receiving a signal.”
Davmorda looked up from her PADD. “Source?”
Keselowsky was at the engineering station and brought up the sensor readings. “We may not be able to figure out a who, but we can certainly find out a what?”
“What do you mean Ensign?” asked Davmorda as she spun the chair toward Brad.
Keselowsky spoke as he tapped away at his terminal. “Every device, ship, shuttle, tricorder, everything has a manufacturer’s allocation code and this code gets embedded into every signal that is sent out. I can run this through the Engineering data processor to deconstruct the signal and…” his fingers nearly danced across the terminal and slowed as he finished. “This signal came from a Toron Class shuttlecraft registration number K2-3S4…”
“That will do Ensign,” Davmorda cut him off and turn back to the rest of the Bridge. “Security, do you pick up any tracers, viruses, and subterfuge? Is it safe for us to receive and open this message?”
"No, but, no." Reis hissed from the tactical station, "It's probably encrypted enough to be 'safe', but if we can detect there are enough ships around that they'll know we detected something." She paused, "If we're going to listen to it, Intel should watch for any triggers we might hit."
Davmorda said, “Erickson, you’re up. As this message plays, perform active scans and look for anything out of the ordinary.”
"Aye sir!" Erickson pulled his programs on the intil station. He nodded to Davmorda once he was ready.
Davmorda took a breath. She wondered if she should contact Shaqdac. The little devil inside her told her to dare not to. Besides, the man did not seem to want to be disturbed, especially over receipt of a message. “On screen.”
The viewscreen activated but went black. Save for the middle of the screen. There appeared a shaded icon meant for someone’s profile, but no one was able to tell who it was supposed to be. There was no detail, just a silhouette. Beneath the icon was the prompt to sign in.
"Well, that's not cryptic at all." Reis chirped at the message on screen. "Are we just supposed to know, or guess, or something?"
“No, don’t do a thing!” shouted Keselowsky from the engineering station. He was half standing from his seat but lowered himself back into it. He looked around at all the eyes on him. “This message is from Carad…er…Lieutenant Eunidas. She’s all about OpSec and used to send us all messages down in Engineering when she was Chief. Messages just like this. Only one person can sign in to open it. One wrong entry and the message deletes itself. Lieutenant,” he turned to Scott, “can you see about displaying any hints. Lieutenant Eunidas usually leaves two hints embedded. They should be easy to decipher.”
"Checking now." Erickson replied looking to the data, after a few seconds he started to pull up something. "Okay, I think I have something here. It's set for a command level input. Coded for level 6 and above... and something that I am not familiar with. Keselowsky, is this one of the codes that she sends down to engineering?"
Keselowsky was at his station looking at the coding Erickson was working on. "Yes, it is. This is no doubt a message from the Lieutenant. Lieutenant Rex, can you input your security clearance. That should display two hints to clue us in on who should log in to view the message."
Davmorda spun the captain's chair back toward the viewscreen and tapped in her clearance into the small console in the arm of the chair. Beneath the silhouette appeared two hints, just as Keselowsky had predicted.
"She generally makes it quite easy," he said as he spun in his chair to look upon the viewscreen. "And the two hints generally point to only one person."
Looking upon the hints, Keselowsky paused and would have to admit that he had zero clue as to who the hints referred to.
All on the Bridge read the same thing.
'Hint #1: The child that never grew up.'
'Hint #2: The child that could fly.'
"Does anyone have any idea what those mean?" Brad asked. He then tapped his commbadge. "Keselowsky to Engineering, Lieutenant Mindo, I am sending you some information. Have you any idea what these two hints mean?"
Mindo's eyes widened as he read the hints. "I'll be up there in a second. The hints are for me." He arrived on the bridge and made a beeline for Keselowsky. "Step aside," he said, activating his LEGs to hover at face height with the screen. He typed in the password. Only Mindo would know what it was. "C-A-B-I-N" he typed. The screen went blank for a moment, then...
The viewscreen went blank the returned with Caradan sitting in a small Klingon shuttle. She began to speak.
“Hello Mindo. I take it you got my message. I also take it that the whole ship is watching this. Captain…it worked. My plan worked. I managed to find the location of Captain Takato. She is aboard a Klingon Battle Cruiser and I have it tagged with a tracer beacon. The frequency is attached to this communique. I also managed to send the governance of the Sovereignty of Kahless into chaos. All the rogue houses are at each other throats for the time as they have lost all trust in each other. I…uh…I exposed myself as a Changeling during a meeting of the Rogue Houses. Long story short, they now accuse the others of being under Changeling influence. I might have dropped a few hints of other Changelings among their ranks. I did escape but…” a Klingon voice erupted in the shuttle and Caradan was quick to silence it, “I am being pursued. I just could not run fast enough. And…” she looked away and toward a terminal, “…they will be in firing range in a minute. Whether I am alive or dead when you read this, I do not know. Again, I have attached the frequency of the beacon aboard the Battle Cruise to this message. Also, I am providing my exact coordinates right now. If you cannot find the cruiser, at least you can start right here. I am sending this out before they get any closer and jam this communique. I am sorry that I left the exact details of my plan a secret. At least the war may end now and you can get Ryoko back.” Caradan said no more but simply looked at the recorder and, thus, at everyone present on the Bridge of the Tornado. There came a tear in her eye.
The Klingon voice erupted again in the shuttle and the message went to black.
“That is the entire message ma’am,” said Lewis at the helm. “Other information is attached just as she said.”
“Put a trace on the frequency,” said Davmorda. “Find me that Battle Cruiser.”
“Already on it ma’am. Tracking now and it is…it’s…” Lewis turned to look back at Davmorda. “It is on its way here. Travelling at maximum warp.” He turned back to his terminal. “It will be here in 5 minutes. I am picking up other warp signatures with it.”
“Erickson,” said Davmorda as she spun to him, “alert the station of incoming hostiles. Get all vessels loyal to the Empire on standby. Looks like the SoK is bringing the battle to us.
"Aye, sending message." Erickson entered a line of code and transmitted to the Klingon station. He received an message confirming they understood. "Station has acknowledged. Friendlies are coming in and moving into a support position."
“Lieutenant Mindo,” Davmorda said, “I want you to set up an ionic pulse. A strong one. Divert power from whatever systems you need, Life Support even. Keep that on standby. If this Battle Cruiser is acting as the flagship then we will need a means to board it.”
As confirmations were coming in that the Imperial Klingons were responding, Ensign Hamilton gave an update. “2 minutes until contact ma’am.”
“Red Alert,” Davmorda called out. “All hands to Battle Stations. Tactical,” she spun to Elena, “tag all present Klingon vessels in our database as friendly. In a skirmish it will be difficult to tell them apart otherwise.”
"Aye, red alert." Reis said quickly, "Shields and weapons coming to full power. IFF responses keying in."
“Multiple contacts, dropping out of Warp ma,am,” Hamilton called out.
On the viewscreen, Davmorda saw a small fleet of ships forming up. There were several Birds of Prey being lead by the Battle Cruiser. Their fleet matched the Imperial fleet. Hopefully the Tornado was enough to lean the balance into the Empire’s favor.
“Ma’am,” said Lewis from the helm, “that is the same vessel Lieutenant Eunidas said Captain Takato is being held captive on.”
“Lieutenant,” Keselowsky called immediately thereafter, “I am picking up geodesic radiation from that cruiser.”
“Care to enlighten me on just what that means ensign,” said Davmorda.
“Long story short ma’am…Lieutenant Eunidas is also aboard that ship.”
“Lieutenant Mindo,” Davmorda said calmly, “get to work on that ionic pulse. Looks like it is time for a rescue.”
Mindo smiled big. "Yes, ma'am!"