Sky Blake/The mirror
- OOC note: This sim was written on a phone during travel times over my last two leave of absences, and took at least three months to complete. It's set before the launch mission of the USS Veritas, and is part of Blake's evolving backstory - parts 1 through 6 were the base of Blake's "Incident: Death of Petty Officer Tiana Addison" report before the quick sims themselves were completed.
- It doesn't affect the current operation of the Veritas under it's current crew. All characters are NPCs. 'Twas a bit of an adventure so to flesh out some of my NPC characters within the Shoals.
The peculiar case of Petty Officer Addison's death
::Despite popular belief, life in the Shoals, the Colonial Coalition space tucked away from the bulk of the Federation, was far from mundane. The Starfleet presence here was small, often times they were required to work with the Coalition's Marshals. So when one of their own crew had passed whilst on leave, they handed the case over to the Veritas.
::Or, more accurately, they wrapped it up in a present for them and hand-delivered it to their door. Not generally typical behaviour for marshals on Meridian.::
Blake: You were the only person with Addison. Your DNA, and prints, are all over the place and and her body.
Seelie: I'm telling you, Starfleet, she stood in front of that mirror, and just *died*. I was there to try and *help*, to resuscitate.
Blake: So you didn't use the illegal electro-point we caught you with against her?
::The Brekkian refugee slid forward in his chair, both hands placed on the table.::
Seelie: I swear, Starfleet. *It was the mirror*.
::Sky blinked, slowly turning her head to look at Cormac, the human's hand covering his eyes, head slightly bowed as he started to sink back into his chair. At least now they knew why the Marshals had been so forthcoming and cooperative.::
Elis: Commander! I'm surprised you made the trip. We're almost done here.
Blake: Tell your FO that the only witness to a crew member's murder swears black and blue a *mirror* killed her, and you get one weird look and an order to check on the investigation. ::She paused, looking at the Bajoran.:: So please, tell me it wasn't the mirror.
::Elis scrunched up his nose, glancing around the bathroom scene. The Brekkazoid glanced up to see that they'd covered the mirror with a blanket.::
Elis: . . . we have reason to believe-
::She glowered at him, Cormac stepping up next to Blake, eyes heavy as he addressed the tactical officer.::
Cormac: Really? We're really doing this?
Elis:::shrugging:: We're getting some strange readings from that thing. Every one of the crew that's gone in there comes back out with a headache.
::Sky blinked again, glancing back at Cormac as their forensics team came up next to Elis.::
Aylamk: We've finished up here. I can send in a clean-up crew in another hour or so if you want another look around. I'll have the blood analysis from the bathroom floor on Doctor Shrmoa's desk by tonight.
Blake: Thanks, crewman.
::Aylamk nodded, she and her team exiting the place as Sky put her hands on her hips, looking up at Elis.::
Blake: Show me this damn mirror.
In the ordinary
::The Strat Ops officer narrowed her eyes at the mirror, standing directly in front of it, staring at herself whilst her team of mature, responsible bridge officers were either hiding behind her or standing out of the view of the mirror. During their last twenty minutes staring at the thing, nothing had changed. Not a single peep. No hand reaching out from the glass to strangle them, no phaser beam emitting from it's frame. Not a "headache" Elis had reported earlier - at least, not yet.::
::It was just a plain, old mirror.::
::She was seriously considering calling Zhou and telling him they all needed medical LOAs.::
Elis: Maybe if we used it like a regular mirror.
::Sky glared up towards the ceiling, silently asking Noree how far her crew had truly fallen, and taking a deep breath before slowly moving to stare at him.
oO This is ridiculous. Oo
::As Sierra pulled out her tricorder to take another scan, Sky shook her head, putting her hands on her hips as she turned to Shrmoa.::
Blake: You said that Addison's family had a history of medical problems.
Shrmoa: She was more susceptible to stroke and had long background of heart disease, yes.
Blake: And your preliminary report suggest she died of cardiac arrest.
Shrmoa: . . . due to asphyxiation, that's my first assumption, yes.
Blake: Then why the hell are we standing in front of a mirror? ::She demanded.:: Unless this thing was smashed over her head and flawlessly pieced back together, I sincerely doubt it's involvement in her death. If there's nothing to suggest Seelie did it, for the love of Noree, please lets rule this as natural causes and start mourning.
::They all hesitated. Sky glanced at Cormac, the only other person that seemed at least inclined to agree with her when they interviewed Seelie.::
::But even he took in a deep breath, hesitating to stand against his fellows.::
Blake: Not you, too.
Cormac: I don't want to believe it's a freaking mirror that killed Addison as much as you don't, but . . . I dunno. Something's not sitting right with me here, Stratop. I feel like we've missed something.
Blake: And you think we've missed a mirror on the wall?
Elis: It's not conventional, Blake, but at least let us do the tests on it.
::The Bajoran gave her those painful puppy eyes from his place next to the door frame, already having won over Cormac.::
Blake: You've got one day. Then I tell start calling the captain with concerns about my fellow bridge officers. ::She turned to Cormac.:: Let's check up with Marshals about this apartment - I wanna know who the last tenants were.
CCMS Database: Previous tenants
Cormac: So you're saying that a Mr Lee just . . . dropped to the ground suffocating.
Cormac: Whilst fixing your bathroom sink.
Cha'kon: As soon as we were cleared of all charges, we left. That *thing* is cursed! We moved here to leave pain and death behind!
::Cormac glanced at Sky, tapping the desk before shaking his head.::
Blake: Thanks for your time.
The mirror kills people?
::She'd watched them debate drawing straws until Cormac put his foot down and nominated himself for the challenge of . . . shaving.::
::And to think this all started because a scared Brekkian refugee had convinced himself that a mirror, an inanimate object, had somehow killed a Veritas crewmember.
::No wonder the Marshals all but threw the case at them.::
Cormac: I swear to God, if I die, Nacubaq, I'm gonna come back and haunt you.
::The Bajoran merely chuckled, nervously glancing at Shrmoa's tricorder.::
Shrmoa: Alright, all non-essential personnel out?
Sierra: Oh! That's me. I'm non-essential. ::She said with a grin, retreating out of the bathroom.:: Good luck, boys!
::Sky looked back up to the ceiling with her arms crossed as Elis pulled the blanket off the mirror (why he put it up was beyond her right now).
::Yeah, there was no way Carrero was going to believe her if she tried explaining what these late twenties to 40-something officers were doing whilst investigating Petty Officer Addison's rental apartment on Meridian.::
::So with Sierra gone, Shrmoa on stand-by (sigh) and Elis equipped with a phaser and a tricorder (*sigh*), Sky leaned against the doorframe, watching with a thinly veiled judgement of her fellow crewmembers, as Cormac . . . begun to partake in what his morning routine would be. Namely, shaving.::
::She really needed a drink.::
::Sky glanced at the chronometre.::
Blake: We've been here five minutes and all I've witnessed is three mature Starfleet officers . . . cower around a mirror.
::They lived in a science fiction world, not a fantasy novel.::
Cormac: C'mon, Stratops - we're explorers. Live a little.
Shrmoa: And I suppose being an explorer means I'm required to watch you butcher your own face, Commander?
::Cormac cleared his throat, ignoring Shrmoa's mild insult with a slight smile, going back to his 'required grooming'. Sky just rolled her eyes.::
Elis: Tricorder readings are . . . normal.
Blake: *I* could have told you that.
::The human, however, coughed once.::
Cormac: Hey guys-
Elis: Just because they're normal at the moment, doesn't mean I'm not missing something.
Blake: I think you're missing sleep-
::Cormac slumped forward, struggling to breathe - and the three remaining launched into action, Sky and Elis dragging him out of the confined space of the bathroom as Shrmoa readjusted his medical tricorder (*he was supposed to be on standby*), holding Cormac up against her as Shrmoa ran the tricorder over him.
::The human couldn't get a breath in, barely able to exhale as if something was stuck in his throat, Shrmoa rushing over with a tricorder.::
Cormac: Da- ::His chest constricted, the human trying to force himself to breath whilst frantically motioning at Elis.:: Door!
::Elis caught on and shut the bathroom door, locking it from the outside.
::As if it were some kind of sick joke, Cormac started breathing again just as his eyes started to daze, taking in a serious gulp of air and expelling quickly in a harsh cough - and, thankfully, repeating. She helped him down onto the ground, propping him up against her as Shrmoa told him to just 'breathe normally'. Sky put a steady hand against the human's chest, Cormac slapping his own atop hers to keep it there - and if he hadn't been gasping for breath, she might have noted it as appreciation for her attempt at comfort.::
Blake: Okay. ::She breathed, leaning her head against the wall.:: The mirror kills people.
Breathe easier, fellow humans
Elis: I think there might be a frequency emitter within the mirror - once it recognizes a humanoid directly in front of it, it targets and attacks.
Blake: Then how did I manage to stand in front of it for a good twenty minutes without so much as a hiccup?
Elis: I'm not certain. ::He admitted, stepping up to the medical console and handing Shrmoa a report for the Tarkalean to peruse.:: But we have to assume that it's targetting a specific category of people - one that you and the rest of the investigation team it got into close contact with don't fit.
Shrmoa: Over half of the investigative team reported headaches, but none of them remained in close proximity of the mirror long enough for it to cause any disruption to their nervous systems. And the only notable similarities between Commander Cormac, Petty Officer Addison and Mr Lee is that they are all humans. Cormac and Addison share a blood type and common biology, but otherwise, none of them are related. Professionally they're all in different fields - Lee doesn't have connection to Starfleet.
Cormac: I'm honestly more interested in how the sick bastards managed to stick a bioelectrical weapon inside a mirror, rather than it's target audience.
::The human stepped up, pulling on a shirt after having spent the night in Sick Bay, waving the concerned look from Elis off as he rubbed his chest with a cough. Evidently, he was still having problems with controlling his own breathing.::
Blake: How are you feeling?
Cormac: I just got suffocated by a freaking *mirror* - how do you think I feel? ::He coughed again, taking a shaky deep breath.:: I've got a serious headache, and a weird tightening in my chest. Not a good feeling.
::She gave him a mildly sympathetic look before returning to the case at hand.::
Blake: Other then you and Addison being assigned to Veritas, I don't see a connection between you. Did you two know each other?
Cormac: Not personally, and very barely professionally. I don't think we've ever worked with each other on anything.
Elis: Makes sense. She stuck to herself a lot, was passionate about her work.
Blake: Was she ever called off ship?
Elis: With Cormac? No.
Cormac: She's a botanist. Not a lot of things she could do out here in the Shoals other then study colonial fauna and grow the occasional potato if we ever ran out of ration packs.
Elis: Which is what she'd intended on doing during her leave. ::He paused.:: The studying fauna, I mean. Not the potato part - that I know of, at least.
Blake: So we're back to square one. The only connection between all three of you, assuming we include Mr Lee, is that you're all human.
Cormac: And that a mirror wanted us dead.
Elis: Actually, the mirror is just a facade. Sierra just finished up her analysis of it. ::He held up a PADD, forwarding the newly completed report to the display.:: It's utilizing Klingon bio-engineering technology - the Empire seems to have new scanning equipment.
Cormac: Oh, lovely. Stand at the mirror long enough, it'll run a bioscan, determine who you are, what you are or your importance as a target.
Shrmoa: It turns on, bioelectrics target the human brain stem and force stop all commands to the lungs. ::The doctor continued for him.:: Rather ingenious, if you don't mind my saying.
Blake: Is bio-electrical technology illegal in coalition space?
Cormac: Pretty sure anything starting with 'bio' with the intention to kill people is illegal in coalition space.
Elis: Frequency emitters such as the one we believe to be fitted to the mirror is outlawed at least in Meridian county.
Shrmoa: You *believe* to be fitted?
Elis: It's cloaked. Which is why we couldn't pick anything up to begin with. As soon as I started hitting that thing with tachyon particles, though? Hello, Klingon tech.
Blake: There are so many other ways to hide this kind of thing, and they go for your typical cloak technology they know we can detect. ::She sighed.:: Alright, fine. But that doesn't explain the blood on the bathroom floor.
Shrmoa: I may be able to provide insight. Master Seelie likely has very little knowledge of the human anatomy - despite his best interests, using the electro-point we discovered him with on Petty Officer Addison would have also caused the injuries I found on her chest.
Elis: But the blood-
Shrmoa: Best that you don't ask, Lieutenant.
Blake: So Seelie was telling the truth.
::Mildly disappointing, given that he was their primary suspect.::
Cormac: Believe me, I was kind of hoping that wasn't the case, too.
Blake: Elis, you and Sierra take the mirror apart, make sure it doesn't hurt anyone else. Try to find some manufacturing details while you're at it.
Shrmoa: Uh, Commander, might I remind you that Sierra is human? It perhaps might not be wise putting her such a position.
Blake: Well, thank you for volunteering your services, Doctor. I'm sure Adalind will appreciate it.
::The Tarkalean deflated a bit as she glanced back at Cormac.::
Cormac: I'm happy to join in.
Shrmoa: So long as you keep an eye on his breathing, I see no problem with his returning to duty.
Blake: To the Bridge, then. Maybe the Klingon embassy can provide us with some information.
Stoic Klingon officials of the north
Gha'k: We cannot provide you with any information.
::Cormac's shoulders slumped forward, the man taking to leaning against the railing behind the Captain's chair as Blake stepped forward, frown evident as she tried to clarify exactly what the Klingon meant.::
Blake: I'm aware it's an odd inquiry-
Gha'k: You are asking about a reflective surface on a Federation world. Exactly what were you hoping we could provide you?
Blake: This 'reflective surface' was equipped with advanced Klingon bio-scanners. You could at least tell us more about it-
Gha'k: I cannot provide you with that information.
Blake: Well then the cloaking device used to hide this equipment-
Gha'k: I cannot provide you with that information.
::Sky took a deep breath, Cormac taking the next question for her.::
Cormac: Is there any information you *can* provide us with?
Gha'k: The Klingon Empire is unaware of any reflective surface utilizing our medical and cloaking technology to target and kill human victims.
::She should not have been surprised at the Klingon's response.::
Blake: Thank you for your time. Veritas out.
::The viewscreen switched off, returning to the image of Meridian as the Veritas remained in orbit. Sky turned back to Cormac, the man's breathing significantly heavier than usual.::
Blake: I think we should get you back to Sick Bay.
::He gave a huff, shaking his head as he looked up at her.::
Cormac: You know how breathing is generally an automatic thing?
Cormac: I actually have to *think* about it now. ::He coughed.:: Good fun, breathing is.
Blake: All the more reason-
Cormac: Shrmoa can't do anything for me - not that it matters. We've hit a dead end in this. The Klingons don't know anything or at least refuse to tell us. Elis can dismantle that *thing* all he likes, but unless we can track where it's owner went, we've got no idea who it belongs to or who it's intended target was.
Blake: That's assuming it's not just a terrorist weapon. Meridian isn't primarily made of humans.
Cormac: I don't think a single mirror is about to wipe out the human population of a major colony world.
Blake: Let's give Elis and Shrmoa some time.
The unfortunate, anti-climactic ending
::In the following week they remained in orbit around Meridian, they had no further leads, no further suspects, and the Marshals also failed to report any new information. Elis handed Blake a PADD.:::
Elis: It's been officially dismantled, deactivated and separated in stasis containers.
Blake: Good. Forward whatever useful information you got from it to the Marshals.
Elis: Aye, Commander.
::It was easy to pinpoint the disappointment in the Bajoran's eyes as he moved past her to a nearby console with his PADD. Blake simply turned to the Tarkalean.::
Blake: Doctor, is it possible Addison's death was by pure chance?
Shrmoa: There's no indication that *any* of the victims were legitimate targets.
::The human gave a small shrug, collapsing himself down on a cargo container for a breather.::
Cormac: All the information we have suggests that the mirror was in the apartment long before Addison showed up. I hate to say it, but . . . her death seems accidental.
::Not exactly the result she wanted. Needless death of one of their crewmen - she sighed, hands on her hips. They lost one crew member, and almost lost a second, and they still didn't know for what purpose. It was infuriating, but they'd have to hand what they knew back to the Marshals.::
Blake: Due to a lack of leads and the circumstances surrounding the event, and with no suspects, Petty Officer Tiana Addison's death is hereby considered accidental. Should further evidence arise from the marshals investigation, we'll reopen her case. ::She paused.:: I'm sorry, boys. I wish there was more we can do.
::Behind her, the Bajoran had taken a short moment to pray, his hand resting on Cormac's shoulder as he finished his words to the Prophets.::
- Cormac shaving in The mirror kills people? is a reference to Grimm episode Tree People.
- The discussion of Addison being a botanist and growing potatoes if they ever run out of rations in Breathe easier, fellow humans is a shoutout to The Martian.
- Elis and Sierra took the mirror apart and stored the pieces in separate stasis containers aboard the Veritas. Assuming the sim is canon to the current Veritas timeline, the mirror is still onboard the ship.
- Cha'kon was initially going to be "Kov’In", a Klingon with whom Blake has shared a strange relationship with whilst serving aboard the USS Challenger-A. However, as Kov'In was another player's personal NPC, and Blake likely wouldn't recall that encounter, this was changed.
- Officer positions: