Disappearance of Fleet Admiral Thomas

OOC: This goes to @command or anyone else who is in @Players-BU.

Investigation into the disappearance of Lance Thomas out of Finnigan’s has gathered some basic preliminary data. Sensors recorded what looked like a transporter beam similar to what the Federation uses, but it showed some rather unusual properties, for one it is possible the transporter beam was somehow broadcast over an incredible distance (such as several hundred lightyears). The beam made it into the city before the shield was raised, but after combat had started. It is possible this means some kind of coordinated attack, to remove the primary leader behind Solas Tempus forces.

There is a definite timeline, where Lance is beamed out minutes after the enemy vessels entered the system and began jamming sensors and communications. Before, however, Solas Tempus knew what was going on.

Sensors did not indicate any evidence of ships in orbit or other anomalous readings so far, but sensors logs are being gone over manually with a fine tooth comb to see if the computer missed anything, a process which will take some time to complete. Once this process is complete, it will show the beam was definitely an extremely long range beam that was sent through the barrier, though by which means is still unknown. Calculations do indicate a direction, however.

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Who would have thought that Nine would be involved in the investigation of the Fleet Admiral’s disappearance? Nine certainly didn’t anticipate this. Truth be told, it wasn’t an official commission by Solas Tempus either. The request came directly from someone who needed her to track Lance down.

It all began when Nine worked late hours in the science labs of Nimbus Station. She saw to her latest research project, the Völuspá particle collider. As she was assembling a segment for a room-filling power hog of a machine, a nightly visitor came to see her. The visitor rolled up to the lab she specifically requested to accommodate her undertaking. She needed the extra space her personal lab could not provide.

When the visitor came up to the door, soon Nine picked up two curt knocks at the door. Initially she assumed it was a scientist who wanted to speak to her. Giving the disruption from her work not much thought, she promptly opened the door to greet the visitor. And what do you say, of all people, Tal was standing on the other side of the door.

She was all the more surprised to see him in civilian clothes, again. She wondered. Was he not on duty?

He didn’t leave her much room for thought, however. He told her that he was in deep trouble. Namely because of the Pereh incident. As a consequence of the events that unfolded that day, he was relieved of his duty. Now he has likely has to speak at hearings in front of a court, which is why he fears for his freedom, perhaps even his life.

When Tal explained his predicament, Nine learned that he was looking for the Fleet Admiral, who under mysterious circumstances disappeared over the course of the Onyx attack that rolled through the system. Nine guessed he wants to do this in the hopes Lance could bail him out of the situation, or something along these lines. However, Tal needed a lead as to where to find Lance in the first place as well as a ship to get him off the station. Because Tal was probably put on house arrest, he couldn’t use his own ship, lest it was somehow monitored by Solas Tempus. And this is where he needed Nine.

Luckily, the android didn’t require a lot of persuasion and she agreed to put out of his misery help him out of his misery. After Tal and Nine completed their heart to heart talk and parted their ways, all Nine had to do was to put her robotic omnipotence to use, as Tal called it.

For now Nine was looking at whatever public information was available in the news outlets, gathering whatever pieces of clues were circulating around to get a grasp of the current situation since she has been out of the loop for a good while.

Solas Tempus would probably hold more facts on the case. Perhaps she should keep out for people. Tal mentioned the Fleet Admiral’s robot wife, which she assumed he meant Siv with. However, anyone who knows more than Nine would do at this point.

Since Nine was on good terms with the organization and some previous work had been helped by some amount of security clearance, the system had little reason to deny her access to a fair amount of information. Of course, the search on the news media came first along with other public sources. There was little to be said there, the official story outside of Solas Tempus was that Fleet Admiral Thomas was conducing some kind of training exercise, which would have him incommunicado for an undetermined amount of time. As with any good organization which was born of the spy trade there were just enough details to make the excuse plausible but not enough details to really look into it.

Now, assuming that Nine accesses the less public areas of the computer, it does get flagged but the system allows her access. Evidence suggests that Lance was beamed away by a long-range subspace transporter beam (see note at the end), similar to one that the USS Enterprise encountered in 2370, however the beam in this specific instance did not appear to suffer from the same issues where matter must be in an unstable state of quantum flux as no evidence of this was found. Further, they had discovered that the beam had a definite trajectory which had a rather low margin of error. Even with the low margin of error they had yet to determine a distance, or even a distance range. The original encounter with this Subspace Transporter technology had the range to be just several lightyears, however probes had already been sent out along the bearing detected for the beam and found no evidence of a vessel or base of any kind in the expected range.

Here in lies the problem, the beam could have come from a ship that just wasn’t there anymore or could have come from a decidedly longer distance from the Schatten system as well. There was simply no way to tell. Further looking also uncovers signs that Lance’s “robot wife”, an inaccurate description of Siv to say the least, had serious concerns over the lack of action and had proposed a possible lead but that lead had been rejected by the investigation’s lead scientist who called the pseudoscience at best. The documents that Nine uncovers do not specify what Siv wanted to do, just that she had proposed something that had been rejected.

Oddly enough, acting Fleet Admiral D’Amico had not dispatched more ships to investigate Lance’s disappearance despite the lead investigatory suggesting that he do so, several Temporal Operatives had even volunteered for such an assignment, including one that would be arriving over the next few days, one Captain Arnold Faust, who was apparently coming to Nimbus to have a personal word with Sal. Records indicate that Sal and Lance go back a long way and previous incidents where Lance has been missing, Sal had volunteered to execute even long-shot attempts to find him. Several official requests for more information from Captain Faust to Sal were also recorded, though the details of the documents were above Nine’s access level.

OOC: Yes all transporters work through subspace, not sure why the TNG writers decided to use this confusing term other than the fact that the writers often used confusing terms.

For Tal, things were starting to pick up speed. The wheels of bureaucracy were starting to get into gear. Investigators had done their preliminary interviews already and had ordered that Tal report to a conference room at Nimbus for a formal debriefing, his 3rd. Once there, Tal finds that there is a whole team of people, most of which are Vice Admiral’s and Captain’s and all of them are either TACCOM or TEMPCOM by their uniforms. They began to ask very pointed questions, all of which were things Tal had already answered before on some level but now they wanted to go into more details about what Tal was thinking, why he was thinking it, and what made him choose such poor choices. They begin to go over his service record with Solas Tempus and pour through that, asking more questions about times where he put himself and his life at risk for “no reason” or “in abandonment of common sense”.

Specifically, they want to know why Tal fired a weapon that he had not been properly briefed on how to use. More than just the fundamentals of a military choice, they are looking into his state of mind at the time and they go back further to his state of mind upon arriving, they have apparently interviewed his former combat AI and asked about his mental state when they were together. In fact, they call into question his relationship with the AI, making several suggestive comments about him being with her in a more biblical sense, all without specifically accusing him of sleeping with his combat AI.

Then they want to know more about why he left, if it was because of his personal relationship with the AI, or if he was starting to have problems managing the stress. Going from that, they push back farther and ask about how the Bonhomme Richard was destroyed, again pouring over his state of mind before and after the incident. They appear to be angling that he is unfit for any form of military service, once or twice someone even mentions institutionalizing someone who can cause such loss of life.

Orn was not present for the destruction of the Bonhomme Richard, nor was he at the shipyards. He could, however, offer the reasoning that if Orn himself, who despised humans, could be allowed to carry plasma weapons, then Tal, who did a great deal to grow Orn’s tolerance of humans enough to that Orn has referred to him as a ally, should not be considered as unfit for service.

There were much, much crazier people that ST employed, the Kriegsmen being a prime example. They would destroy Nimbus without a second thought in order to kill a flea. Tal was sent to combat the enemy in a ship that’d never been tested, yes, but if it wasn’t for Tal, the Star Dreadnought would still be bombarding Serenity and Nimbus into dust. It’s not Tal’s fault ST didn’t know how bad the missile was.

With a huff, and an angry wiggle of his mandibles, he ended his statement.

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Vlad was there when the Bonhomme Richard was destroyed. Vlad however did not see as much problem with Tal’s actions. After all in war collateral damage is to be expected. The weapon was untested but it provided great aid during the battle and prevented further casualties elsewhere. Such destruction and loss of life was lamentable but as a Bolshevik Vlad believes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Additionally Vlad insinuated that the reason Tal was on the chopping block was to use him as the fall guy to prevent some higher up with connections from getting the same treatment.

Tal had figured this day would eventually come, that he’d have to confess his sins in front of a board of people who’d rather see him burn at the stake than stand before them, and he’d hoped it’d come later than sooner. Nine, in all her robotic wisdom, hadn’t followed up with him about any potential leads. Perhaps she just didn’t have one, but it was a little too late now as the bureaucratic lion had him cornered, right where it wanted him. There wasn’t much more he could do aside from attending the hearings and attempting to reason with the board, or maybe suck start his shotgun if things were -really- starting to look bleak. Sure, it’d validate them and incriminate him in their eyes, but what would he care? He’d be dead, sent to Heaven because he and his rifle made damn sure that there’d be no more room in Hell.

He wore his old dark earth/khaki combat shirt, camouflage combat pants, and pilot boots to the hearing, for a lack of any sort of formal clothing. Surprisingly, he’d gotten his face surgically fixed as well, as he’d been advised not to go in front of the board with a massive scar on the left side of his face with the other half still kinda sloughing off from a bad acid burn. Obviously, he didn’t bring any weaponry with him, and had instead stashed them away cleverly in his room as a fallback option. In front of the board, he’d presented himself as a professional, cold and detached, with stiff posture and bearing. His answers were short and to the point, offering a brief analysis of his decisions and reasoning. Occasionally, he’d drop a quotable one-liner, such as when he was pressed for a response with regards to his lack of self-preservation instincts. All he’d said was “I’m Infantry, sir, putting my life at risk is my job.”

As much as he hated to say it, he used the “needs of the many” argument when the Pereh incident was brought up. The collateral damage was regrettable, as it always was, but the potential of this fleet to destroy Nimbus and their way of life as they knew it was too great for him to not employ these experimental weapons. Most of it was even out of their control, the runaway missiles in particular. Had he had a choice, he would’ve fired another salvo at a lower yield, but by the time the missiles reached the Star Dreadnought, the Epoch and New Hope would’ve been in several thousand pieces.

Of course, this assumed that they were willing to listen; mentions of Sylvie of all people lead him to believe otherwise. For the first time in his life, he was well and truly offended, especially at their disingenuous assertions that he was sleeping around with a robot. He wanted to take a stand on the matter, to pull a Bill Clinton and declare that he did not have sexual relations with that android, but instead, he held his breath, keeping his best poker face on as they barraged him with accusations, poking holes wherever they could in an attempt to find something to get rid of him for.

Sylvie, on the other hand, played right into their expectations, offering an analysis of Tal that surmounted to him being a dangerous loose cannon who’d committed more than enough war crimes during his career. No mentions of a relationship were to be found, although that was because it was a front for her to make him comfortable, complacent, to where she could use him as a means of getting out of Schatten and to somewhere a little more glamorous. The board wouldn’t know that, of course, just that Tal was surely unstable as mentioned in the psych report that she’d originally recommended.

All he could hope for now was that Nine or death came swiftly, whichever would come quicker.

They did, finally, restrict the last of Tal’s out-of-facility freedoms and ordered that he not leave Nimbus, and that other than 3 socialization and meal breaks per day of no more than 1 hour each, he was restricted to his quarters. He was not permitted to go into another persons quarters without an escort, pending the conclusion of the hearings. Oddly, he would likely notice that the review board - while it made mention of some positive reviews from his fellow new-arriavls on the station - they did mention that his original Black flight squadron had been recently reassigned, in fact, as recently as yesterday. Another passing comment was made, that apparently a fair number of them had mentioned wanting to submit into evidence the battle where the Vertigo was destroyed, and his actions there. However, someone had classified that incident and others where Tal had thought at the highest levels. Two of the panel were actually fairly combat-hardened people, much like Tal and were not entirely convinced that he was unstable, just a hard and battered soldier. One of them actually mentioned that he would have liked to halt the transfer for a few days of the flight squadron, as the people he fought beside would be the best to say if he was in fact mentally fit for combat and to make command decisions. Of course, the only people with authority to do what was done here, was the acting Fleet Admiral himself, given that no one had been yet promoted to replace Sal’s position as head of Blue Team while he acted in Lance’s stead.

The panel would not be permitted to discuss these missions with Tal and was left with the interviews and psychological profiles, as well as the destruction of the Bonnie Dick. Though, if Tal pays attention (his advocate assigned by Solas Tempus certainly noticed) there was no mention of the mission to the past to stop the incoming temporal waves either, early on in his time on Solas Tempus. In fact, it so bothered the advocate that he made mention of Tal having sailed under a bad star to have those encounters classified to the highest level of classification. Again, the only person who could do that, was Sal D’Amico.

While the public sources themselves didn’t provide useful details, it actually helped Nine determine her course of actions. There was evidently no announcement to assist with the search for Fleet Admiral Lance as far as she could tell. Just a fake story to cover up his vanishing.

It made her wonder who was supposed to know about the vanishing. The public in all likelihood not. The members of Solas Tempus? She wasn’t sure. The brass would in all probability know, but the others? She knew Tal only heard of it when he overhead an conversation in Finnegan’s. Then again, he was likely already relieved from duty at that time, meaning he was not up to date with the internal affairs of the organization. And it’s allys? Nine herself only heard about it through Tal. She’ll have to figure out who knows about it. But for now she decided it would be best to be coy with the insight she gained from Tal.

Nine had to cross the line and access the restricted documents on the Solas Tempus computer. There was very little time to spare and this was the most direct and fastest method to get a deeper insight on the case. Her extended security clearance came very handy in this moment, the flag was a lesser price she had to pay for the sake of urgency and taking the way of least resistance. It was easier to explain than being taken in and questioned for performing a dodgy and likely pointless stunt to bypass the security, disregarding the fact that she was not built for this.

And as luck would have it, while she browsed the relevant entries of the database, she soon found what she was looking for. She even unconvered more than she anticipated. However, her findings also raised questions regarding the Solas Tempus investigations themselves and the organization’s current leadership. What was D’Amico’s reasoning for holding back? The records she discovered hint that something was off. It was enough reason to give it a closer look. Perhaps this Captain Faust and the classified documents can shed light onto this. But that was something that needed to be taken care of at a later time.

Fleet Admiral Thomas’ whereabouts were currently her primary goal. As relevant the long-range subspace transporter beam was in Lance’s abduction, tracing its path to its origin appears to be a dead end without a method to narrow down the location. Perhaps she should have a look at the sensor logs herself. Especially the ones from Finnegan’s are of interest to her, even though she suspects the investigators before her already meticulously combed through them and was likely how they figured out the nature and trajectory of the transporter beam. However, she had to make sure and let her trusty companion Omega attempt the job.

Meanwhile, the lead proposed by Siv piqued Nine’s curiosity. She wanted to know what it was, but alas she couldn’t elicit that specific detail from the report. She had to get in contact with Siv to hear her.

And to do so, Nine’s method was as blunt as sending Siv a quick reminder to attend to the maintenance of her android body as soon as possible. “Please come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same”, was the remark she added to the reminder. The appointed located was Nine’s lab. Admittedly, it was a very strange and unceremonious way to contact someone, but Nine always has been an unorthodox android. Considering Nine constructed Siv’s body, however, it probably made sense for her, and in the interest of both, to make sure it was still functioning as intended after two years of service.

Siv received the message and was a bit puzzled by the end of the message. Come either way? There had to be simpler ways to say that, this alone would have her make the time to show up for this maintenance. Siv had not previously checked on Sal in this investigation, rather she had assumed things were going on their natural course, she wasn’t high ranking enough to really get into the affairs of the organization at that level either, to her it was the assumption that Sal knew what he was doing.

Puzzled, but intrigued, Siv shows up for the maintenance of her android body. Not knowing what was entailed, rather than in uniform she shows up in sweat pants, a t-shirt, and slip on shoes, in case easy access was needed to anything, putting the uniform and gear on and off was a pain in the ass, but if Nine needed to get at an access panel somewhere it was easy to pull her shirt up or some such. Plus, they were comfy and informal. Whatever Nine wanted, perhaps best to be comfy and informal. Pushing the door chime at the appointed time, she waits outside the lab.

Although not mentioned in the reminder to Siv, on the records, Nine scheduled the appointment as a routine maintenance which specified preemptive diagnostics and other intricacies of android health care. Compared to human health care, it was a procedure as mundane as a visit to the dentist. And as one could imagine, what follows was no different than a doctor’s appointment. Once Nine answered the door upon, she lead Siv to an enclosed area of the lab, asking her to take a seat on the examination table.

“How has your android body been doing so far? Did you encounter any issues recently? Strange interferences or other irregularities?” For the most part it was just a starter for a filler conversation while Nine waited for Siv to get set up, taking the time to grab a tricorder and a debugging tool, stuffing the latter in the pocket of her coat.

For the checkup itself, Nine indeed had to access a panel located in nape to hook her diagnostics equipment, namely Omega. Nine opened the access panel and connected Omega’s hardwire link to an access port which is now exposed. Immediately it ran a system-wide diagnosis as soon as Omega interfaced with the body’s central system.

So far nothing out of ordinary until Siv receives an incoming transmission via the hardwire link. The transmission was composed by Omega, but seems to come from Nine. It was a method she used in the past to initiate a confidential conversations. It worked well enough with others androids and people with appropriate implants.

“Siv, I was told about the disappearance of Fleet Admiral Thomas. To be specific, I was asked by Tal to help with locating him. The computer was kind enough to let me dig up some reports this subject. From what I was able to gather, the investigations met with a dead end in finding the origin of the transporter beam.”

“I could scour the sensors logs myself to see to details the investigators might have missed, however, I fear it will cost me more time than I am able to spare, nor am I confident it will yield meaningful results. The only other option that comes to mind is to get a ship and follow the trajectory of the transporter beam. It could work, but will take an unknown amount of time, if it will yield results at all. My last option is the idea you proposed. The reports I found made mentions of it, but didn’t provide specifics.”

“Furthermore, while I searched for leads I came across discrepancies, more specifically the set of actions taken in finding Fleet Admiral Thomas. Or rather the lack thereof. Perhaps the concerns you raised in regard to the investigations were justified. I don’t know the reasons why, but Admiral D’Amico is holding back, even though records on his past behaviour suggest he would act otherwise.”

“This is also the reason why I am using this mode of communication. It seems to me Admiral D’Amico has no interest in finding Thomas. Even volunteers were turned down. I also found out about this captain Faust who seemed to have made multiple appeals for more information. I don’t know what they entailed, the relevant documents were beyond my reach, but considering there were several of them, it seems to me they were turned down. Anyways, I can hand you over the relevant files I was able to find if you want to see it for yourself.”

“Since you worked with Lance, I wanted to let you know about this.”

Siv was impressed by this means of communication, and since her body was working perfectly fine, it didn’t come as a surprise that this was a pretext of some kind. She might have to use this method in the future, since a hard-lined connection was always the most secure that one could hope for. As she processed the message being sent her via the hardline into Omega she was expressionless, not making an outward show of having received a message or composing a reply.

When it was complete, she send her reply.

Tal must be desperate to be be looking for Lance given his current situation. I suggested that we send ships out fanning out from the star system along the trajectory to look for possible clues, even if a long shot. I also suggested that we, under Theta Protocol, invoke the entire HAL 9000 hub network to searching for sensor longs from third parties who have hubs linked into their communications networks. I cannot invoke this on my own without evidence of an imminent threat of an infinity wave. The only other way would be to convince HAL to search on its own through the data network, but that may prove disastrous if it declines.

Omega took in the new input and gave it a careful consideration. HAL could make a great difference in the case.

“Understood. The options in the respect of employing HAL would highly advantageous in finding Fleet Admiral Lance, however, without the right leverage we cannot discern a viable way to implement them. In addition to that, can we can rely on the cooperation of the volunteers? Is there a secure method to contact and inform them of the suggestions?”

Closing this thread since that got resolved.