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Posted on Wed Nov 23rd, 2022 @ 9:11pm by Lieutenant Commander Deanna Celes & Lieutenant Ayana Hillis & Commander Samantha Howard & Ensign T'Plana-hath

Mission: Living History
Location: Earth

After the shuttle deposited them in a safe location, the away team had to make their way several blocks to locate their target. Not an easy feat in the hustle and bustle on this time period. Sam pulled out the mobile phone that masqueraded as a tricorder and pulled up a map.

"Head north two blocks, then east another three and we should be there" she determined from the map.

Ayana took a look around and took a deep soothing breath, "So, this is San Antonio in 2023. Quite interesting. The smell of fresh Mexican food makes you just want to stop for a few tacos."

"It is quite aromatic" Deanna agreed. "Smells like onions and cilantro. Stopping for something sounds nice, but I think we should get a move on to the facility. Perhaps we should arrive to the location in a modern conveyance."

"Well, we need to be careful about that. Does anyone even know how to drive one of these vehicles?" Ayana questioned.

"I would assume you would know how, or perhaps Sam, seeing as we are on Earth" Celes replied flatly. She turned to look at Sam, "Are you certain the facility is so close? My scans of the area from the ship indicated it was on the outskirts of the city, in rural area near something called suburbs."

Sam rechecked her map and realize that the location she thought was SpaceX was actually a science fiction studio called Space Xtreme.

"Damn you're right, we're several kilometers away. And in the absence of being able to acquire a vehicle, may I suggest public transport? I did take the liberty of replicating some cash and something called a 'credit card'."

"Credit card? Cash? What is that?" questioned Deanna.

"Cash is slang for physical currency. A credit card was another form of currency" Ayana answered. "Considering our cover, not sure about public transportation. I believe we need to have a specific type of conveyance. Based on my research we need to get a black vehicle known as an SUV."

T’Plana had been looking at her ‘smart phone’ as the others discussed the options. She finally looked up, “Commanders, I believe I can successfully drive one of these vehicles, and as the earth term goes ‘hotwire’ one also. I have reviewed the basic operating principles of these vehicles as well as their current schematics, it is relatively a simple operation, very similar to a ground hover in our century if one chose to operate it in a manual fashion, which I have done. It is also the most logical course of action for this time period, since government officials did not use public transportation in the pursuit of their duties.”

"You would think we could find a place to get a vehicle without having to steal it" Ayana commented.

Deanna looked up from her phone, "There is. It is a car rental facility named Enterprise."

"Talk about serendipity" Ayana replied. "Tell me it is close."

"Thankfully, yes" Deanna replied with a smile. "Though, they are willing to pick us up if need be."

" Let's go with that, although we should walk to it I think, I'm not sure I like the idea of some random turning up with a vehicle, there may be questions" Sam cautioned, looking up and spying the rental yard down the next street. " Shall we?"

T’Plana-hath smiled and pulled out a pair of dark shaded sunglasses and put them on. “Special Agent Howard if you would please lead the way in this investigation.” Said T’Plana with a small drawl to her voice. If one was to study her, her whole Vulcan affect simply disappeared. “I am after all just freshly minted from the academy and would hate to mess this investigation up. I feel so honored to be teamed up with such esteemed agents as this group represents.” She again said with a drawl in her voice, mixed with what would appear hero worship. T’Plana smiled inwardly, she had been an Intelligence Officer for a very long time and knew how to be an undercover agent.

"Nice accent" Sam replied with a nod of approval. Her own southern continent accent was subtle and barely noticeable after so many years in space but still caught some by surprise. She took the lead into the car yard and managed to hire a black SUV without too much trouble. Handing the keys to T'plana and hoping into the other front seat.

"Alright people, let's go"

T’Plana got in the vehicle and did a quick survey of the instrument panel. Just as I thought, primitive controls and an internal combustion engine. She turned the engine over and adjusted the mirrors on the vehicle, she then strapped herself into the seat. Placed the vehicle in reverse and slowly backed out of the parking place. “Which way Ma’am” T’Plana asked with a drawl, remaining in her ‘character’, she hoped that Commander Howard would realize that in this time period female superiors were addressed as Ma’am.

Sam smothered the grin at the titled and refocused on the device in front of her. "According to this we need to find the freeway and then head to the outskirts of the city" she started, zooming in on the map "turn right here"

For her part, Ayana was trying desperately not to laugh. Being from Louisiana hints of her Cajun and Creole background manifested when she spoke, and she knew the Texas accent well, and hearing T'Plana try to replicate it was beyond humorous. She considered the away team and wondered how normal it would come off when a quad team of females showed up to investigate. Gender equality had long been achieved in their time, but they were in a more chaotic and less civilized period, and certain prejudices were bound to pop up and force them to deal with them accordingly.

Deanna did her best to not speak. The aristocratic or regal aspects of her personality were already obvious enough in her appearance, and she could sense how the various people from this era felt about that sort of thing. Better for her to minimize any potential conflict. Maybe such things may come in handy at some point, but at this point, it seemed to be more a hindrance.

Finally after driving for nearly an hour, they came to the outer perimeter of the SpaceX facility. From the distance it looked like a city unto itself, and that wasn't far from the truth. Large swaths of the surrounding area were fenced of with signs warning of "No Trespassing" and informing that it was "Private Property" and the most fear inducing, "Trespassers will be Shot." They slowly pulled up to the front gate and Deanna began to telepathically scan the guard that walked out of the gate house, and passed along pertinent information to T'Plana telepathically.

"Afternoon. Can I help you with some?" the guard asked as T'Plana's window made its way down and the guard attempted to nonchalantly lookover all the occupants of the vehicle.

T'Plana pulled out her 'Official' F.B.I. badge and credentials "Agent Tanya Hathaway, Special Agents Samantha Howard and Ayana Hillis, and Agent Deana Celes. We are here to execute a warrant." she replied in a perfected drawl.

The man looked at the credentials, the warrant, his mobile phone, his weapon, and then back to the away team within the SUV. He hand moved to his portable radio and he mumbled something about 'more feds' before opening the gate for them.

"Security will meet you at building C" He said simply before vanishing again.

"So far so good" Ayana said as they made their way towards the buildings of the facility.

"It seems they are used to federal agents coming to investigate. The guard was thinking about the fact that they seem to be preparing for a launch in 48 hours" Celes informed them all.

T'Plana nodded in agreement "It would appear that 'Federal' agents have been here before, or perhaps are. We shall need to be careful if there are 'Federal' agents present." she said in the drawl she was using in her cover. She continued to drive forward until she found a building with a huge C on it, she then found a parking space and parked the vehicle." I believe you will now have to take the point here Commander, as the 'Special Agent in Charge', you will be responsible for directing our investigation."

Sam nodded, swallowing the hefty trepidation that blossomed within her. What she had read about humans in this era was almost frightening. "I'll do my best" She affirmed.

"Don't worry Sam, I'll keep a telepathic link with you and keep a free flow of information to you so you can avoid mistakes." Celes shook her head, "These humans aren't like you and the others. They are more aggressive, devious. It is like scanning a Klingon and a Romulan at the same time."

" So.. no pressure then" The laugh that was slightly forced was enough to break the mood. Getting her game face on, Sam exited the vehicle and waited for the rest of her team to do the same before striding purposefully towards the building.

Half a dozen men dressed in black suits wearing tactical vests and carrying high powered firearms met them at the door.

"Show me your papers Feds" The last words were almost sneered. Sam bade her time and responded professionally, handing over the papers they had fabricated and waiting patiently.

A few moments of tense silence past before weapons were lowered and the lead man holding the papers spoke in a more calm and somewhat contrite tone, "Apologies for our heavy handed tactics. We are on high alert with the launch so near. Figured you all would show up when we captured the foreign agent. Didn't expect you all to want to crawl all over the place to this degree though."

Ayana glared at the men as Deanna looked to be studying them all silently, none of them knowing she was actually doing a nonintrusive surface scan of each of them. She began to pass on information to Sam, noting that they were all thinking about their boss named Elon Musk, and they seemed particularly concerned with the need for federal agents to be snooping around at this time.

" We're just doing our job, allow us access to what we need and we'll get out of your hair" Sam smiled what she hoped was a charming disarming smile. The security team turned and headed into the building, moving over to a desk and issuing them some pass cards. "You'll be under escort at all times, but these cards will get you where you need to be according to the warrant"

T’Plana’s left eyebrow went up at the mention of a ‘foreign agent’ being caught. She wanted to ask about it but decided it was best to remain silent and allow Commander Howard to lead the discussion for now. T’Plana took the card that was handed to her and used the alligator clip to attach it to her blouse. She was ready to be ‘escorted’ for now; she didn’t have much of a concern about their computer security systems as she had read up on the computers used during this time period. Her escort would not be able to keep up with her data input or exactly what she was doing; plus, she was more than confident of her ability to incapacitate her ‘escort’.

The team was escorted into the elevator and they went up to level 3 where they disembarked into what seemed like a bustling office space. "I assume this level of activity is due to the upcoming launch" Ayana inquired.

"Mostly, though the attempted espionage has caused some of this as well. We caught the Chinese operative before any damage was done, but now everyone is being forced to check everything to be sure. That makes your being here a bit inconvenient" the escort replied.

"We aren't any more pleased with us having to be here I assure you" Deanna said confidently, knowing it would placate the escort.

The were escorted to the outside of a large office, the closed door reading Filip Defoort - Director of Software Engineering. The door was opened and they entered what appeared to be an outer office where a woman sat behind a desk looking quite busy as she typed at her computer while speaking to somebody on the phone. Finally she completed her call after nearly a minute and looked at the escort and the away team. "Let me guess, FBI?"

The escort nodded. "They have a warrant to search our computer system, looking for things in the software, amongst other things."

"Just a minute" the woman responded. She hit a button which seemed to activate an intercom unit, "Sir, the FBI is here."

A moment later a man came out from the door to the right rear looking rather hazard. "Melanie, notify Khan of this please." He stepped forward to the group, "I see they sent a group of female agents this time. Perhaps you'll understand what you are looking at better than the last group the FBI sent in. Might I take a look at your warrant." He took the warrant and reviewed it. "Right, well, it all looks in order. I assume this has something to do with the foreign agent, yes?"

T’Plana smiled at the gentleman and replied in a perfect drawl “Sir, we cannot discuss an ’ACTIVE’ investigation. Rest assured that we will do our job in a thorough manner and be as brief as we can in our investigation.” She hoped that her statement would placate the man.

Deanna was linked to the man's thoughts. He was incredibly frustrated having to deal with agents at this time. He also was suspicious of them, or more specifically, the true reason for them being here. Deanna marveled at how like Romulans these humans were in some respects.

"Yes, yes, standard policy. I understand. Right, escort them next door to a few open terminals in the computer center and let them do what they need to do. You'll have to excuse me, but I have a great deal to work on right now. If you come across something you don't understand, let one of our technicians know and they will be happy to either explain it to you or bring the matter up the ladder."

T’Plana-hath had to suppress a smile and chuckle, the gentleman had no idea of the Euclidean Mathematics or Quantum Mathematics she was able to perform in her head alone, much less the complex computer systems and programs she used or helped develop, nor even the technology all of them were trained on.

Sam followed their escort to the computer terminals, her ears burning to overhear conversations or snippets thereof as they passed various groups of people. As they neared the terminals she indicated for T'Plana to lead the way in the 'software' investigation whilst she distracts the escorting guards with small talk.

"So, you guys been working here long? Long like Elon is all geared up for the next launch, do you think it'll run to schedule?" She prattled, placing her body between T'Plana and the guards so they couldn't see what was on the screen. If need be, she was prepared to cause a 'scene' in order to complete the mission of give one of the others the slip they needed. That was a worst case scenario though, hopefully they could get in and get out without too much hassle

The guard seemed surprised by the attempt of small talk. "Um, yeah, been with the company since we were still in California. Still getting used to things here in Texas. You sound like you are from overseas. Australia or maybe New Zealand?" he inquired.

T’Plana sat at the computer terminal and began to type on the keyboard in front of her. Her fingers flew across the keyboard in fluid rapid succession. Data began t be pulled up in such fast succession it was impossible for the average human eyes and brain to read and contain what was being brought up. T’Plana with her V’Shar training was easily able to retain the information but as a backup she had set her ‘smart phone’ tricorder up to receive a low burst emp transmissions from the computer prior to entering and meeting the security team. There, a unique and verifiable Federation Isolinear Optical Chip signal coming from section two subsection seven of the computer server room on the sub-basement level five. Know the question is how did the humans of this era get their hands on one of these and figure out how to use them?

Deanna was looking at the information T'Plana was pulling up and was equally concerned. She sent a telepathic message to T'Plana, They shouldn't have the technology to use isolinear chips. Nobody in this Quadrant will have that ability for two hundred years. We have to get a closer look at the system using these chips, and likely destroy it.

Sam kept a discrete eye on T'plana and Deanna's progress as she continued to distract the security detail. Out of the team of 4, 2 had wandered off to get coffee and Sam was pretty sure she had the full attention of the remaining two, engaging them in conversation and the occasional flirting. She would wait until her team had a definite direction before moving their plan forward. Until then, distract and misdirect was her goal.

Deanna looked at Ayana for a moment, sending her a brief telepathic message. Ayana then turned and walked over to Sam and the escorts, "We need to take a closer look at your servers."

The lead escort looked at Ayana, "The servers? They are located in a sublevel. Normally it is restricted, but I suppose for the FBI, we have to make concessions. You ladies can follow me and I can take you there."

Deanna smiled and sent a telepathic message to the others, Progress.


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