Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG


Title: Surprise Me, Part Three
Location: Pandora's Box
Setting: CO's Office

"Pandora's Box is part of Shadow Operations. We are comprised of Special, Psychological, Temporal and some other Ops," Captain Kamranov began.

"Our primary mission is to stop a rogue group that calls themselves, 'Nirvannah'.

Nirvannah is bent getting control of different governments and starting a war for what purpose we do not yet know.

They have gotten control of key elements of Romulan and Cardassian Empires and may already have taken control of these governments as a whole. Other governments have been affected as well. We also suspect that Nirvannah is getting supplies and resources from an outside third party but we can't figure out who.

We believe that they also are behind breaking a peace treaty that has just occurred but have no definitive proof.

Nirvannah use a variety of techniques and tactics to accomplish their goals, including kidnapping, assassination and mind control. Many of the victims do not even realize that they have been compromised.

This is where Pandora's Box comes in. Our mission is to meet this threat and destroy it.

We are tasked with a number of specific objectives and targets with respect to removing these and other threats.

If we do our jobs right no one knows we were there and there will be no record of our intervention in the history books for anything past, present, or future," he explained.

"The best possible in different branches and fields for our mission, which is why you have been asked here," he finished.

Llewellyn blinked and sat back. "Wow..." she couldn't, for the moment, think of anything else to say. What he'd told her had been... amazing. She more than half suspected that things like that happened, but who knew for =sure=? Not her. And to have him sort of casually tell her about secret spy mission was... well... Wow pretty well described it.

"Thank you, Captain. For the compliment and the vote of confidence," she finally said, speaking at least somewhat more intelligently than just... 'wow'. "I'll do everything in my power to help you fight them," she assured him. "You said a couple of things that specifically caught my attention... You mentioned 'temporal', and past, present, or future'. Are we involved in time travel? Are the people we're after involved in time travel?" Something began niggling at the back of her mind.

"We can be and believe that they have been or will be," he answered.

"Have been or will be...." she repeated quietly. "Is it possible to tell if someone has been back and altered the timeline?" she asked curiously.

"It depends," he said.

"Depends on what?" she asked.

"A number of factors, including if the person who left the message lives in the altered timeline," he explained. There is a way to sort of freeze or suspend time or slow it down in pockets."

As soon as he said the word 'message', it clicked. "That's it!" she exclaimed and jumped up. "That's what the message is doing," she told him and began to move the fingers of one of her hands in the air as if writing or marking. "At first I thought it was bouncing around... masked.. but that wasn't it at all," she went on. "It was as if there were layers. When I applied different filters, a wormhole was the closest, but that wasn't right either. It's time! The distress call is coming from different -times-!"

It took a moment for the Captain to sort out what she said. She was very excited. When he did, he quickly activated the terminal near her and his own and displayed the sound packet in question for her visually and audially. "You mean this one? The one we weren't a hundred percent sure is a message?"

"Yes, sir," Llew nodded. "That's the one. And it is a message of some kind," she continued, and listened for several seconds.. "It's not exactly the same, each time it is... or was repeated. We need to separate out the past and future... assuming there may be some from the future, and focus on just one. With them overlapping like this it will be difficult to decipher the language. I should get to work," she finished, and looked over at him.

The Captain smiled. "Excellent," he said. "Did you want to get back to the bridge or take down some notes and try some things now?"

Llew blinked. "I can do that?" She was surprised. How often did the Captain offer to let you use his office? It'd never happened to her before. "Well... If I could just make a few notations? And maybe see if I can get the computer to mask some of the signals... If I could get a clear message to listen to..."

Captain Kamranov tapped his keyboard, issuing orders to the terminal in front of LT Moreau. "All yours," he said. "After you've got your notes or finished, we'll make a copy for the bridge or I'll send it. Your terminal won't transmit there."

"Perfect. Thank you, sir," Llew smiled, but it was clear that her thoughts were on the message rather than him and what he meant when he said that her terminal wouldn't transmit to the bridge. She bent her head and went to work. Her fingers moved lightly over the keyboard as she programmed the computer to compensate for the signals coming from different times.

Nikolai watched her for a moment and then went back to reading one of his padds.

Slowly the tangle of messages began to dwindle as the computer did its job and separated them. Each one it identified as being from a different 'time' other than the present, it muted at her command. She was tagging each one so she could come back and listen to all of them. "One more," she finally muttered and watched the readout as she listened to the final two signals.

Captain Kamranov looked up when she said one more. ~Could it be possible that a solution would be available this soon?~ he wondered.

When the final signal was masked and only one was left, Llew let out the breath she'd been holding in a rush. She listened for several moments. "It sounds garbled," she nodded and her fingers moved over the keyboard. "It's the process," she explained absently. "If I can clean it up enough, we can hear what it really sounds like...."

Llewellyn continued to work on cleaning up the message. She tweaked the sound modulation, and adjusted the gain frequency, slowly tuning out the static and tone and pitch and speed until there was finally something that sounded fairly clear. Clear enough anyway, to make out the words.

"This is... odd..." she muttered as she continued to listen. And then she looked over at the Captain. "It's in Ancient Sanskrit, sir," she told Kamranov. "It says.... 'Special Delivery. Pizza. Two Toppings. Anchovies and meatballs. ASAP. 221 B Bakers Street'. I'll listen to the others to see if they all say the same thing," she added. "Do you know what it means? It's some secret code stuff, isn't it?"

"Yes," he said, opening a cabinet.

"Ahhh... I'm going to get that decoder ring yet," Llew smiled and began translating the other four messages.

The Captain took out a thin case and then another. "Something like that," he said. "Only larger and flatter." Nikolai entered his codes very carefully to open the slender case.

"Hmmm... They switched the language." she talked out loud. "And the message is different. Still ordering pizza, Captain. But the toppings are different and so is the address.... Moving to the next one... Something like that?" she asked absently. "They're using a lot of old languages. This third one is in Ancient Hebrew...."

Llew worked for several more minutes before speaking again. It was almost an absent thought spoken out loud. "I wonder if they're moving. Do you supposed that's why the address keeps changing? I need to figure out a way to tell how far apart in time they are... Working on the last one now, sir."

"Good work" the Captain said, opening up the cases and looking inside. "Moving could be possible, but easier to be rescued if not," he said.

"Of course. And thank you, sir," Llew nodded. "They might be moving to keep safe," she pointed out and offered him a PADD. "I wrote them all down so that you can see them together and I added a notation as to the language used," she told him. "I'm going to work on seeing if I can tell what order they came in. I should be able to label them chronologically by the background degradation. We're going on a rescue mission?"

"Well if this is a distress call.." the Captain started.

Llew turned to look at him. "Do you think it might be something else?" she asked.

"I think it's a request for an agent to be retrieved or some other distress call," he said picking up her padd.

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Character Biographies:

CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler


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