A work around to fix a problem!
Episode 5: Escalation
Location: Main Engineering
Timeline: Mission Day 7
1006 words - 2 OF Standard Post Measure
Once Carter had done with Lise, made sure she was okay and wasn't going to go ahead and do something stupid she headed for engineering, they were going to have to mount a major expedition and she was going to need her engineering and operations chiefs. So, she had asked the computer where they were and both Ethan and Mark were in Main engineering.
"I'm-" The Operations Chief started to say.
She waved her arms in the direction of the jefferies, her frustration at the moment leaving her speechless. There lay a young human male in a Starfleet uniform. His lower half was in the opening, his upper torso dangling lifelessly out of it.
"-sorry for your loss." Ethan finished.
"What am I supposed to do!?" She ground out between clenched teeth. The shift supervisor stared daggers into Ethan as she waited on him to say something.
"Have you considered giving him a break?" Ethan answered flatly, "He has been working a double shift in those tubes."
Suddenly, the lifeless Ensign hanging out of the tube sprang to life, his eyes opening as his expression brightened into stars. "Break time!"
Angela, the shift lead, gave him a similar glare to the one she'd given Ethan. "You had multiple breaks, already!" A red hand fell on her shoulder. She could feel the warmth spreading over the muscle, as well as the unspoken call to calm and patience.
"He just needs time to get used to your... style," Ethan soothed with a conciliatory tone.
She caved to the peer pressure, relaxing her posture and clearing her throat. "One more break before the last leg of your shift. Keep it brief, I want you back in ten minutes."
"Thank you, ma'am!" He said, falling out of the jefferies and making towards the replicator.
Ethan and Angela shared a look.
"Now THAT looks like a guy who needs a coffee..." Mark sidestepped the Ensign who almost knocked him flying on the quest for refreshment. The sound of the Main Engineering doors caught his attention, it was virtually all-hands-on-deck, so visitors at this point usually meant senior staff, more trouble, or both.
Carter stepped through the doors into the large room. It was busy, more so than normal, but then they still had a fair amount of repairs, refits and just general day to day work.
"Good day gentlemen" Ajani said stepping forward once she had spotted them, "I assume you have heard that the Illiran have a problem with one of their atmospheric towers?"
"I have..." Mark had been poring away over the data in his office, trying to figure out the situation, while Angela it seemed, pummeled the crew into submission in his absence. It seemed like a necessary evil, the repairs needed to stay on schedule, and the more distractions he allowed himself, the slower it would be for him to come up with a solution. "...they're also the perfect way to cover a large area with something small and dangerous, if you have malicious intent."
"And this is what we have discovered. The Borg databases we have managed to access show that they are using the towers to spread nanites. From What Lise has discovered the Illiran nanite factories. The small devices that are implanted into every Illiran has so far protected them from this slow assimilation. However, everyone else... is not" She smiled "The medical staff are coming around with the anti-nanite treatments. Which will not work if one is injected with nanites nor will the nanite factories, and there are more than 12 million non-Illirans on the planet."
Carter took a chair at the situation table. "Lise is changing the treatment to be more effective but we need a delivery system." she winked at them "That's your job. Two birds one stone kind of thing! Stop the Borg using it, and allow us to use it."
"If those towers are spreading nanites, they would need a fresh source to make copies from..." Ethan's expression grew cold. Normally, his toothy grin shined with delight, but it rang hollow as his brow twitched, gritting his teeth in preparation for the next train of thought, "so unless the towers themselves have been assimilated, which doesn't seem to be the case, that means drones. We need to eliminate them before making any changes to the tower network."
"I guess from there...reverse engineer the towers to deliver what we need them to. No point coming up with a new system when we've got something ready-made and in place..." Mark thought aloud. There was still a lot of thought that would be needed, along with a little trial-and-error to hone their approach, but at the very least it sounded simple enough on paper. They knew what was needed, and where, coming up with the 'how' was what they were there for.
"I'll get to work on the tower schematics and figure out how we can seed the manipulated nanites..." he thought aloud. "Lieutenant, now we know we're looking for drones, think you can find them for us? I think that's more your area"
While the two men started working Carter retreated back to the bridge. They needed space to work things out and she was next to pointless in the engine room. It did sound like they had a handle on things though and she expected it to take no time at all to find the answer they needed to reverse the alterations that the Borg had made to the Illiran towers.
Walking through the corridors of the Eagle Carter couldn't believe that she had only taken command of the Eagle a few weeks ago. It seems so much longer, their investigation and battles with the pirates in Cardassian space and now here, with their refit. They had been drawn into a war they shouldn't have been apart of. But even though the Illiran's were not part of the Federation their importance and the fact that the Borg were involved made it a fight they couldn't afford to lose.