Training and Mainly Mishaps
Chapter 13 Training and Mainly Mishaps
It had been eight months since the first training simulation; StarFleet now had several thousand training centers with multiple various sized holo-simulators as part of the centers located at various points throughout Tikva's structure as well as more, several hundred in fact, training centres in close orbit of New Sol, for a truly frightening experience in real weightless space combat. Admiral Worf was often heard commenting on the fact that holosuite training for such combat was useless, that you could only truly understand this type of combat by feeling it first hand and then would be heard complaining that it still made him sick to his stomach.
Everyone was training within the holo-simulators at least once a week, no exceptions to the rule. It didn’t matter if it was fleet tactics, fighter tactics, ground vehicle warfare tactics, troop tactics or behind the lines espionage warfare, everyone learned some part of it so they would not and could not say that they didn’t have the training to get out of any problem that they encountered. Not even the Ascended were spared this training, much to their displeasure. There was also the fact that the drill sergeants and instructors were becoming the most hated individuals by the trainees for the amount of work that they put them through. Not even the Admiral's and High Admiral's were exempt from it by their own decree, which seemed to quell the masses somewhat when they saw their superior officers going through the same pains they were going through.
One of the drill instructors, Gunnery Sgt Tom Highway, who had come out of his retirement at the behest and request of General O'Neill, was having a lot of fun; it was just like the good old days confusing the hell out of the trainees. His wife Aggie, who he had married for the second time was now enjoying this side of him as he was no longer going into battle, just training the ‘grunts’ as he called them.
He and his wife were at that moment in the local doctor’s office to see what was wrong her as she had been very unwell the last few weeks, it was worrying them and they were here to get the test results from the tests performed the day before.
Doctor Orsen Becket was sitting in his office chair across from Tom and Aggie who were a little nervous.
“Well I know what is wrong with you Mrs Highway; you have a slight parasitic infection that will clear itself up in seven months, congratulations, you’re going to be parents to a set of twins, you are eight weeks along at this moment.” Dr Becket had said to two very stunned parents.
“Hold on” Tom had said “You called it a parasitic infection at first, why?”
“Well that stems from another doctor who was training me and others in Diagnostic medicine before we arrived here, Doctor Gregory House, he is a brilliant medical mind and is considered one of the best , if not the best in his field and his training had us look at everything that drew on a body as a foreign object, your growing twins are at this moment drawing food from your wife’s body and giving nothing back to it, just like a parasitic infection would do, except this one is one you will want to keep and let grow. I developed a similar outlook to medicine as well as a similar form of humour to his. If I scared you I apologise, it was not my intention, its just a bit of dry humour I use to break some new parents out of the shock of learning they are expecting.” Dr Becket replied.
“Is he still practicing medicine?” Aggie asked.
“He is” Dr Becket replied, “As a matter of fact, he was the lead medical researcher that found a cure for your husbands liver and kidney problems, according to Dr House he is as happy as a pig in a pig sty.”,”He is doing his favourite thing, full time research, he just loves to find the answers to all the problems the human body can develop.”
“Right” Tom said “My wife and I are going to have twins and her age and my age isn’t going to be a problem, how can that be?”, “I know we were told that everyone was getting healthier and our bodies would get a little younger as time went by but this, this is almost so far outside of the box as to be almost unbelievable.”
“It might seem like it Mr Highway but everyone here is slowly improving in terms of what our body’s can now do, its now possible for a women to be able to bear a child in her sixties or seventies, we would need to monitor her more closely but it would be safe. Your wife is well within that range and your more fertile as well so no worries there for you and when the children are born Mrs Highway can go on the pill if she wants to, to prevent her from falling pregnant again.” Dr Becket had said.
“I will have my nurse send you out a data packet with all the information on everything you will need to know concerning check ups during the pregnancy and after, as well as anything she thinks you will be required to know, again, you have my congratulations.” Dr Becket had said as he rose from his chair and escorted them from the office.
Two very confused, smiling and stunned new parents to be headed home thinking on what they needed to do now to prepare for their children when they arrived. One thing was for sure, the sergeant was going to be in a very good mood from then on which meant that the ‘grunts’ were not going to be happy at all.
It was complete, B’Elanna Torres who was working with Montgomery Scot as the chief engineers of this new ship were elated, from design concept to actually producing a working prototype in five months was unheard of by every space faring race that they knew of but here within Tikva they had pulled it off without any serious problems showing up.
The new ship was a massive construct, it was the first in a new class of ship called the Hermes class and the ship itself was called after its class type, the ‘Hermes’. It was based on the Battlestars of the Colonial remnant but it was a far larger construct that had elements of Federation technology as well as captured Borg technology thanks to Admiral Janeway and Annika Hansen from Voyager, it also had Vorlon, Undine, Klingon, Republican, Asgard and Alteran technology as part of its makeup, it truly was a work of art according to those who worked on it and they had plans to create an even larger version of it once its plans were finalised.
The larger class would become known as the X class, it would end up making the SuperStar Destroyers of the Republic look like minnows in comparison.
The Hermes was ten kilometres in length, one and a half kilometres in height and four kilometres in width at its rear tapering to five hundred meters in width at its front. It had four pod like structures, two on either side, each one an upper and lower pod and they were three quarters the length of the ship. Each pod was one kilometre in height and width, they had three launch bay doors each that ran the length of the pod, each bay had multiple launch and recovery sections that were considered a single unit and they were all sectioned off from one another so entire bays were not compromised.
The bay doors were a brilliant idea from young Naomi Wildman as they used the Ablative Armour technology to act as doors to the bays with a continuously running internal atmospheric shield operating in conjunction with external shielding on the doorways as normal. This didn’t take into consideration the actual defensive shielding the ship would use if under attack.
The pods could if needed be separated from the main body to act as separate autonomous launch platforms for defence of a planet or as an added defence to augment a starbase’s current fighter wing or wings. As such they were able to be self sustaining for all the pilots and crew and acted like large towns or small cities.
The ship also had shielding strong enough that it could withstand a sun going Nova if it was half an AU from it, along with a triple redundant shield system as backup to the main shield systems , its defensive weapons were a mix of weapons from Tikva's own defensive setups and scaled to fit the Hermes. She had the new Polaron emitters and Polaron defensive shield grid for dealing with shielded incoming enemy fighter bombers. The Polaron system overloaded or damaged shielded enemy craft if they got too close to the ship allowing the defence systems to take them out. The ship also had the Ablative Armour system on an independent setup having its own dedicated power supply.
The ship itself was powered by an Arcturas generator with a triple ZPM setup as backup with two Neutrino ion generators having to deal with life-support only. Each pod had a triple ZPM which powered the defensive and offensive systems and two neutrino ion generators that dealt with life-support like the main ship. If needed in an emergency all of the power systems could be linked and combined together to boost the ships systems drastically improving the ships chances of survival.
This ship just oozed power and the High Admiral's had given the go ahead to build it once they had seen the schematics for it, Jack had been ready to overrule the High Admiralty if they had decided to squash the idea to build it. What had sold them the idea was the fact that each pod could hold three thousand fighters and two thousand mixed craft for bombing or specialist operations or if needed SAR (Search And Rescue) operations where transporters would be a bad idea.
The Hermes X class when it arrived would be a major asset in the war to come because the Hermes class would become the testing ground for future technologies as they appeared.
The ship was undergoing its final checks by its crew; all nine thousand of them were running around completing their ‘got to get done at the last minute’ lists.
B'Elanna was in engineering with Scotty working on fixing some last minute glitches that the system had detected, the fact that these glitches were showing up was somewhat of a mystery as they had not shown up in the simulations. Tikva was perplexed as were the rest of the team as they went over the live data coming from the ships AI and they were stumped as to what it was they were seeing, somehow the minor glitch were turning into major problems, someway, someone had altered the coding for the balancing of the power within the power regulators, EPS and plasma regulation systems were on a gradual systemic cascading failure with no way to stop it, it was feeding on itself.
The biggest problem though wasn’t the power regulation system failing, it was the Arcturas generator. Somehow whoever had altered the system coding had altered the programming and coding that ran the Arcturas generator as the Harmonic shielding and control systems were malfunctioning, not only that but the generator was on an unstoppable overload that apparently was synchronised to blow when the Harmonic shielding failed.
None of systems safety mechanisms were kicking in either, they were all in locked open or in locked closed positions, it all depended on where the safety system was situated but none of that mattered as trying to manually fix the system would take to much time, time that they did not have as the ship was going to blow up in just under an hour and they couldn’t stop it, sometimes having a big ship was as much of a curse as it was a blessing.
B'Elanna asked Scotty and Tikva “How could we have missed this, none of it makes any sense, we can evacuate the ship easily enough and Tikva can encase the ship in a shield powerful enough to hold the sun if it went Nova, what does it prove, that they blow up a ship? Big whoop, so what so can I.”
“Aye lass, we all can, but what whoever did this, they are saying ‘We can do this, we can get to you and kill you all, you can't find us because you don’t know where we are or who we are’, they are trying to scare us lass and they are doing a piss poor job of it to boot, its sloppy work. I don’t think they wanted or expected us to find the changed programming and coding in the system.” Scotty had said in return to her statement.
Tikva spoke up here “I have been going over the data from Hermes with the Hermes AI and we both have determined that the system wide effect happening in the way it did, was happening in a way that was not meant to be or what was wanted and expected to happen. Whoever did this is quite intelligent in programming skills but poor in the understanding of power regulation systems and power generation systems as well. We have determined that the perpetrator or perpetrators of this act wanted the events that happened to actually happen in the space of between two to five minutes, not the three hours and forty five minutes it has already run.
I have also determined that a built in clock within the altered programming is the reason for this attempt at a semi-failure in sabotage, the ship will end up destroyed but the crew will survive. What concerns me the most is the fact that according to the internal clock within the programming, the total failure of the power regulation and generation systems tie in with the exact time that all of the Heads of State of every race along with the Council of Races and that of the Military and Intelligence will be in attendance at Hermes’s official launching tomorrow afternoon. This was and is an attempt to behead the resistance to Lucifer before the war even happens.”
There was a shout of “WHAT?” from B'Elanna and Scotty at hearing this.
Tikva continued “There is also the fact that whoever did this is very proficient in the art of hacking as I am having some rather small and annoying problems trying to trace the route the reprogammer took. The hacker, for lack of a proper term, had been rerouting the data stream through every possible route they could think of, sending it through almost every public terminal within my network; it’s quite annoying and discouraging to have my own systems being turned against me and being used to harm those I am meant to protect. I don’t like that they are doing this through my systems and when I find them and I will find them, I will teach them the true meaning of the word fear for daring to kill my charges.”
The last part of Tikva's statement had been said with such venom that B'Elanna and Scotty didn’t doubt her word in the slightest.
B'Elanna answered her “We know some of the route and some of how they completely screwed up and fucked the systems within Hermes, shouldn’t we be able to extrapolate from that in some way to make fixes for the systems affected and determine where possible others could crop up fix the errors so those routes are blocked off for good? Also why don’t we create our own errors that we will monitor, that will be harmless but look like they could be used to make a similar attempt happen later? We could also use what we have to make a profile of this hack attack and see if it has happened before, you know, trial runs, before the actual attempt would be made?”
“Aye lass that is a good idea” Scotty had said. “I also think we need to get best team from FCIS involved in this as soon as possible, they can give you Tikva some help in how this could have happened and how the mind of this hacker works, two of their group are experts in dealing with computer hacking.”
“Good idea Scotty, sending data packet now and asking for the best team for the job.” Tikva replied.
It was five minutes to go before the ship blew; everyone and everything not nailed down or could be salvaged had been teleported from the ship and was in the process of being checked over thoroughly and the Hermes AI was due to transfer off the ship in the last thirty seconds before it blew, it was gathering as much information as possible and leaving a monitoring program behind to transmit the data live as it happens.
At twenty seconds to go Tikva encased the hull of the Hermes within her shielding systems allowing only the monitor program to be able to pass information through the shields. At five seconds to detonation the power reading from within skyrocketed to unbelievable heights causing many eyebrows to rise and the power just kept on rising, climbing exponentially, doubling every half second until it detonated, causing the shields to instantly turn black so no one would loose their eyesight to flash blindness temporarily.
Tikva was furious, her data did not lie, this was serious, their profile of the perpetrator or perpetrators was wrong, the levels of harmful and lethal radiation that would have been released if she did not have her shields in place would have equalled the energy from a gamma ray burst, it would have wiped out half of her population in an instant and caused the slow lingering death of everyone else not shielded by New Sol. Even then it would have taken countless eons to remove and clean the radiation infected areas, not to mention the amount of time it would have taken to repopulate. Also it didn’t take a genius to realise that the majority of the humans would have been wiped out, up to ninety eight per cent of them dead or dying from the blast and radiation from the detonation.
Her data banks closest to the detonation would have been damaged beyond repair as well and any information that they had held would have been lost as the main backup center was below where the explosion would have happened. If she had not put as much power into the shields as she did, they would not have held and the lethal soup of radiation would have still caused a lot of damage, it was a good job that she had decided to increase the power to the shields by doubling it, she vowed to herself and her creator that she would make who ever did this pay in pain and she would not give them realise from it.
Whoever they were that committed this act didn’t realise it but they were now the most hunted beings in existence, forget about humans or aliens hunting you, they would arrest you, interrogate you and then imprison you or maybe have the outside chance of giving you the death penalty but not with Tikva. No, Tikva was pissed beyond reasoning and she was not going to give up, not until she caught them and she would make them pay for an eternity or however long she lasted.
Tikva had called a meeting of all Heads of State, the Council, the military and intelligence, she had a magical members of the intelligence sector (Unspeakables) there to take magical vows from everyone about what she was about to show them, this was classed beyond Top Secret, this was a code Black Secret. Everyone had been sworn in and held to the magical vows they just took, then she revealed what she had discovered about the explosion and the devastating disaster that would have befallen them all, at how close they all had at dying.
“The holes in my information network that I thought were minor are now a thing of the past, every one of them bar a few I have made to look like I missed are gone and the others I have left I will be monitoring closely. I will be using them as a trap to find those who did this act. I have also asked those within high level law enforcement to allow me to access their memory's and thought processes concerning data mining and hacking and I have added that data and thought processing ability to my own in a bid to further find out who it was that hacked my systems, how they did it, how they gained the information to commit the act and who their cohorts were as I have come to the conclusion that my data supports, that we have sympathisers of Lucifer and his ilk within my structure.
The more information that I uncover in my investigation the more I am convinced that it is a group effort. I estimate that at the moment there is, at best guess a maximum of six hundred and thirty two down to a lower maximum level of eighty four individuals involved. I am extrapolating who they are or could be as we speak but the amount of data I have to sift through means it could take as little as a week to as much as a month. Also, the route or routes that the hacker or hackers took is still being tracked, I have already followed the route as it is so far and gone through every public terminal four thousand six hundred and eighty seven times as of seventeen minutes ago and I am about to go through another route through my network.
There is one difference I encountered on the last pass and it was a route that led me through a terminal in the Department of Genetic Research that continued on through to a terminal in the Department of Wildlife, Magical division and then out into the wilds of the network again before entering the Department of Science and then onto the Department of Health then on into the Department of Law enforcement before passing through to the Department of Child Welfare and then out into the wilds of my public network again.
That is why I am thinking multiple individuals being involved as the passkeys required are the only ones that can be used and were created using fractal algorithms, so forceful removal of them from the terminals would change them.
One of the Unspeakable’s spoke up and asked “I thought that your computer systems were the most powerful in existence, surely you would be able to progress at a faster rate to find those that committed this act.”
“I am going a fast as I can without compromising the data streams” Tikva replied “You are forgetting that there are a lot of terminals to go through, trillions of them, and about all of the data that has been accessed by those terminals as well, as it is I am running my systems at ten percent just searching through the data that has accumulated since your arrival here about fourteen months ago.”
Everyone's eyes widened at hearing that fact, that was a lot of data to go through and the fact that Tikva was running her systems at ten percent to do it was saying a lot.
“Amazing” one of the Unspeakables had said.
That Unspeakable was Lillian Rosemary Snape, in her reality she had married Severus Snape after she had found out that James Potter had been dosing her with Amortentia keyed to him after she had just began to date Severus in their seventh year in Hogwarts. It was a heavily regulated potion in her home reality that only high level healers and potion masters were allowed to dispense in diluted form to help marriages get back on track after they lost their spark. It was seen as a marital aid only and any other use of it weather diluted or at full strength saw the one who was using it ending up in prison for twenty years, with no chance of parole, all due to the fact that it was classed as it being almost like liquid Imperius.
That spell saw the caster getting life for using an unforgivable and Potter had been almost seven years in prison for using that potion when they arrived here and she now had three children, one son and two daughters who tormented their older brother something fierce, she was also three months along with their forth unborn child and this assignment was her last as she was going on enforced maternity leave from field work and been made to take a desk position.
Tikva continued her briefing, ”I have also accelerated the production of the newest Hermes and have put into place safeguards that will prevent any such events from happening again along with further safeguards for similar problems I have detected in the programming and coding of all of the systems. I have applied more time to analysing all systems to make sure that there are no more vulnerability’s in any system in any ship or system that is constructed from now on. The new Hermes will be ready for real life system testing in one week.”
There were a lot of nodding heads at that statement concerning the new precautions that Tikva had mentioned and one of the Unspeakables decided that he had a good idea to insure further security.
Unspeakable Severus Snape stood and addressed the room “I may have an idea to help with security in the future and it can be implemented within a few days once we have everyone in place.”
There were some raised eyebrows at that statement and the other Unspeakables began to catch on at what he was going to suggest, if they were right and they reckoned they were right it would be good.
Severus continued and surprised the rest at his suggestion “We go from the top down after starting with the magical's and Unspeakables first, taking oath’s on their life and magic to not betray the government of Tikva and the Council of Races. Then we get everyone else to take the same oath working our way through all of the offices of the government and the Council of Races, we make it so that no-one is exempt from taking the oath and any that try to stop and prevent us from making them take the oath we arrest, interrogate with Veritaserum.”
The others were amazed at the simplicity of the method mentioned, it was astounding that in all of the time that they had spent here so far, that such a simple method such as taking an oath to ensure loyalty would work, they had assumed that everyone within Tikva was fighting for the light, it hadn’t occurred to them to think that someone who didn’t agree with them could have been missed so easily.
That train of thought got Jack and those who knew Alastor Moody wincing, his constant shouts about ‘constant vigilance’ were worming their way into their brains, they needed to make Tikva secure from inside threats now as outside ones were not a bother for now. They needed to survive in here even though it could be classed as a garden of Eden by many, they now knew that there was a snake slithering around causing havoc and they needed to catch it before they failed in stopping its next attempt at wiping them out.
They spent the next three hours going over everything that they could think of to help further secure all the facilities to a level that Alastor Moody would think were quite adequate for low level areas, then they decided that they needed to increase the number of checkpoints and scanners as well as have all computer terminals under a live watch by Tikva who created a security protocol just for that purpose and controlled by her alone.
Anyone involved in any government office or research department would be watched closer than an Eagle watching its prey Rabbit before it pounced on it for dinner. Any and all passwords were changed and new ones were to be issued every day from now on.
Also brought into it was an idea about using a small transmitter receiver that would be implanted in the bone of the skull behind the ear so ship AI’s or Tikva could communicate with those implanted and give them the new passwords and keycode’s that everyone would need once they started in the government, the military or the research departments. There would be no messages required to be sent to any terminals and those passwords and keycodes would be keyed to that particular person and implant.
Jack and some of the Admiral's didn’t like it but they agreed that it would increase security by a wide margin. Jack made sure that there were safeguards put into place that prevented anyone else from high-jacking or hacking into the system, he didn’t want anyone to try and use it to take someone over.
“I don’t want this to turn into a nightmare like that George Orwell movie made from his book ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’, can we not have that happen here?” Jack had said and asked.
His point was clear, they could not allow any misuse of this technology and asked Tikva to put every precaution she had and could think of and then think of ways that she or others could use to circumvent any precautions that she created and would have put in place and then find ways to remove those possible methods or to block them completely, no matter how remote the possibility of them being used, they needed it as secure as it could be and only the AI’s would be able to use it, it would be a total lock down, a completely enclosed and separate system.
Tikva then had an idea “We can also use the magical oath if altered slightly to include not divulging any information in the slightest way or form about the implants and that way keep them a secret within a secret.”
“Good idea”,” Brilliant”, “Ingenious idea”, “Way to go” and “I would never have thought of that” were some of the statements passing the lips of those present.
They were on a small coffee break for a few minutes before getting back into the heart of things when Tikva approached Jack and asked him to walk with her to the corner of the room for a private chat.
“Just so you know Tikva, I'm quite happy with my wife and I have not had any problems bad enough to warrant sleeping on the couch again, so please no jokes!” Jack had pleaded and whined at her with a slight smile on his face.
Tikva looked at him very seriously “No joking here Jack, there’s a time and place for that and this isn’t it, what I have to say is quite serious, we have a problem or I should say you have a problem, a very big problem for you if not dealt with and you are not going to like it in the least, that I can assure you. The latest part of the route trace I am running just passed through your aides’ terminal as well as yours. From the time stamp built into the terminal system, it shows that your and your aides terminal was accessed from an outside terminal forty eight hours and fifty three minutes before the total system failure on the Hermes.
Both terminals were accessed using your personal access keys and passwords with everything pointing to you as being the one actively bringing about the Hermes destruction and be-heading the power structure of the Council of Races. There are even files on both of the terminals detailing what was to be done, who was to be ‘knocked off’ as one file stated and who was to be running the new government afterwards with you at the top controlling everything.”
There was a huge roar from Jack “WHAT?”, “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME, THERE IS NOW WAY THAT IS TRUE, NO WAY, NO HOW, NO CHANCE, NADA, ZILCH, ZERO, NEIN.” , “THE BASTARDS ARE SETTING ME UP, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME, YOU GOT TO BELIEVE ME.”
Everyone turned towards Jack at his outburst and started wondering what he meant by the last part but Harry Maybourne realised what it meant especially after the Kinsey debacle that the Thrust had caused trying to frame him. As soon as that thought passed through his mind Maybourne froze, his eyes had widened in shock at the realisation of what Jack had said and the words “Oh fucking hell, not again” passed his lips.
He started walking quickly towards Jack and heard Tikva saying to Jack “I know your innocent Jack, while they, whoever they are, laid a good enough trail to implicate you as a traitor, they failed to take into consideration certain aspects of their plans failing, the dates and times that they have down for most of your meetings with whoever ‘A’, ‘D’, ‘F’, ‘H’, ‘K’, ‘M’, ‘P’, ‘R’, ‘T’ ,’V’ and ‘Z’ are. Many of the times that they have for you being at these meetings with these individuals don’t match with where you actually were at those times.
I can prove without a doubt that all of the ‘evidence’ that appeared on those terminals is completely false. While they did have access to some of your timetable they did not have access to all of it especially the meetings with your local Doctor that you and Sam attended together. Those idiots also don’t realise that because of your position in the government and Council of Races, I have you and everyone in those high positions under very close surveillance, not enough to invade your privacy but close enough to make sure no harm comes to you or them or your families.”
“Jack?” Maybourne asked “It’s not a Kinsey thing again is it? Because if it is then I have your back, I know you wouldn’t have done anything like I think you are being framed for. I know your profile might suggest an attitude like that but I know you Jack, I know you could never be like that, never be as callous as to commit mass murder or even try it just for the power to rule. Those fools who think that they have you down to a tee don’t know you in the slightest; you hate abuse of power Jack and those who abuse it.”
“Thanks Maybourne” Jack replied “But how did you know I was being set up? I sure as hell didn’t tell anyone.”
“Actually you did Jack, when you shouted out about ‘bastards setting you up’, I think everyone in here heard you” Maybourne replied laughing a little.
Jack looked around and spotted everyone looking at him with puzzled looks on their faces and he had only one thing to say and was “Oh” and looking somewhat sheepishly at the room.
Tikva called the room back to order and told everyone what she had found, the false trail, the faked files, the attempt at framing Jack and a lot more that she didn’t get to tell Jack before the meeting resumed. Everyone was surprised and shocked at this blatant attempt at framing Jack. A couple of Admiral's had wanted Jack to relinquish his positions until it was all cleared up but Tikva had nixed that as she pointed out that that was the likely outcome that these people wanted but that it didn’t matter as she had solid undeniable proof that Jack was innocent and that she was not going to allow any malcontents push Jack out of a position that the Archangel Michael had wanted him put there for.
She pointed out that Michael had told her that Jack's positions were vital if they wanted to have any chance of defeating Lucifer's forces.
Jack's reply to her statement had them smiling a little when he had said “Yeah, sure, ya betcha, no worries, no pressure at all, nope, are they all mad? I still had problems setting the VCR before we arrived here and they want me to lead the charge against Lucy! Their nuts, Sheesh, what a day, I get no respect I tell you, none.”
Sam had been informed by Tikva about what had happened and she had teleported to the conference room to be with her husband and was now sitting beside him giving him her assurances that everything would be alright. It had been along day so far and Jack was starting to get tired as was everyone else.
Tikva had also told Jack and Sam that she had forwarded the information on the attempted framing to FCIS and to have it added to their data files that they were working on concerning the Hermes disaster.
Tikva had been in the process of explaining a solution that she had come up with for securing a safer way to access the computer systems on the new Hermes when she just stopped dead in her briefing and her face had started to gain an angry appearance about it.
Tikva turned to everyone present and said in an ominous tone “Jack's recent problem gave me some extra information to work from and I have discovered three individuals who I think are directly involved in the plot to blow up the Hermes and frame Jack. One of those Jack, I'm afraid to say is your aide, Lieutenant Colonel Max Bathrick, the other two are civilians who work in other sectors that he has been in close contact with. I have found evidence of e-mails and messages that had been deleted or I should say he attempted to delete. The evidence is damming for him and his two friends and I have located co-ordinates to an island with no electronic devices on it, except for a transponder for the transporter system. My systems cannot determine who has used it so far as it is configured to forget any transporter id’s that has used it but I am now going through all transporter logs for those co-ordinates.”
“Who are the other two?” M had asked.
Tikva answered with “The other two are from different sectors of the system. The first is a Jeffery Mont Blanc; he works as an animal handler in the Department of Wildlife, Magical Division.”
Eyes rose and widened at hearing that causing some to murmur “There's that link to the Magic division computers.”
Tikva continued on with “And the second is in the Department of Research, Starship construction and development division, his name is Elliot Ruthers the Second.”, “I have rendered all three unconscious and transported them to high level security cells awaiting interrogation by the internal security services and FCIS. I would advise you to be very careful as my scans on transport detected altered brain wave patterns consistent with what you would call ‘brainwashing’ so we do not yet have any who are or could be considered ring leaders.”
Jack was surprised and so was Sam, they both had Max over for dinner on quite a few occasions and they seemed to get on very well with him, for him to be brainwashed to act against them and his nature seemed more plausible the more that they thought about it but their thoughts were interrupted by Unspeakable Severus Snape.
“Tikva, would it be possible for you to determine if the ‘brainwashing’ is real or placed there to throw us off the trail, making us think that they are innocent when they aren’t actually. I ask this because back in the Blood and Class war with Riddle and his followers, he had quite a few of his followers place a lot of civilians under the Imperious curse to follow him and then had other members take a potion to mimic this ‘brainwashing’ or Imperio effect. He did this to hide official members among those conscripted via the Imperious curse so if they were captured they could claim they were forced into doing what they did and they would have that potion on record as being in their body’s system. I'm wondering if we have something similar here and we need to find out very quickly if it’s the truth or not, it would be too dangerous to leave that to chance.”
His question and statement caught everyone by surprise, it was an amazing thought and a frightening one at that, hiding wolves among the sheep and realising them back into the wild where they could once again prey on the sheep at their leisure or at the right time, completely surprising the whole flock and as well as sowing terror in the neighbouring flocks. It was not something to contemplate easily.
Tikva was surprised as well, it wasn’t something that she had included in her parameters regarding searching for those responsible, making themselves to look like victims was a genius idea and she directed her scanners to do a full scan, right down to the atomic structure of their DNA, this was too important to let slip away and because it was so important she decided to use a full one percent of her processing power checking the three targets of her interest.
“A very intriguing thought that now has me running a very thorough series of deep level scans on the three being held, if they are faking I will find out shortly as I am using a full one percent of my processing power to run the scans.” Tikva had replied.
A few minutes later Tikva had the results of her scans and she was not happy, not happy at all as only one was to be class as being truly brainwashed.
“I have the results of the scans and its good news, bad news problem. The good news is one of the three show signs of being forcibly brainwashed while both of the other two were voluntarily brainwashed. The one who was forced is Elliot Ruthers which would explain the fault in the system they used for destroying the Hermes, what they used to brainwash him interfered with his cognitive functioning which in turn caused a lapse in his thinking and logic processes which was lucky for us.
The first volunteer who was brainwashed was Lieutenant Colonel Max Bathrick, sorry Jack; it looks like he was going to claim the defence Severus claimed he would and anything odd about him from then on would have been put down to the effects of what happened to him.
The third leaves Jeffery Mont Blanc and I suspect he was the one giving orders for their little cell but we won't know till we have interrogated them. Something else that was detected was the residue of two other potions in their body tissues. I identified them as an anti-Veritaserum potion and an unknown potion that becomes poisonous, lethal in fact, within thirty seconds of interacting with Veritaserum; it seems to contain extracts of Deadly Nightshade held within a cocoon that reacts with Veritaserum to increase the lethality of the Nightshade by several factors.”
Severus and Lily looked at one another and then Lily spoke “Tikva, you may want to access the Intelligence Directorate files, Unspeakable Division. That potion is listed as ‘need to know’ only and only high level Unspeakables or deep undercover operatives would know of its existence, its that classified that it doesn’t even have an official name, those of us that know of it just call it the suicide potion. Luckily if you know about it before hand you can use a double dose of a flushing potion to remove it and the anti-Veritaserum potion. The fact that they have it in their systems means we have a mole in the Unspeakables or in the Intelligence Directorate at least, possibly both and we will have no idea how many there are, I think some diligent questioning is going to be needed in the very near future.
For the rest of the meeting it was somewhat subdued, finding out that you had saboteurs among your own people and then finding out some of them were people that you trusted was a blow. So many things that could go wrong in fighting evil like Lucifer and then you find that it existed in hidden form and shook your hand almost every day or ate the food at your table.
Who could you trust? You had to be able to trust someone otherwise the war would be lost before it had really started. Jack decided that the implant idea was now a very good idea and had an idea which he put forward to Tikva and the Unspeakables as well as the Intelligence Directorate as a whole.
“I have an idea and I want you to think about if it could be implemented. The implant, could it be altered to include a transporter transponder as well as some sort of diagnostic software and scanner setup to scan for potions or drugs that could be used to control our people and if it can and does send a signal for the person being affected to be transported to a secure facility while sending a signal to the security services pointing to where that person was transported from in the hope that we could catch the offenders, Oh! To hell with it, lets just call them what they are, terrorists. Could we do that, can we have the implant do all of it?” Jack inquired.
It was a novel idea, one with a lot of potential and Tikva began working on it straight away, within seconds she had her answer, yes it was possible but it could no longer be placed in the bone of the skull behind the ear. It would be too noticeable; it would have to be a dual implant system.
“It is possible but it will require an increase in size, instead of originally being five millimetres in width and two in thickness it will now be seventeen millimetres in width and five in thickness and it can no longer be placed in the bone behind the ear. In order for it to do what you ask it must be placed beside a main artery or vein for the scanner to work properly and it cannot be placed in the skull area. I suggest that it be placed on the back of the Heart in between the major arteries an veins, it would be the most effective area to place it.” Tikva had stated.
Jack was relieved that no Asgard was appearing offering to mate with him for offering this idea, he was slowly getting used to the fact that he did not have to hide his intelligence anymore.
He nodded in thanks to Tikva and asked “How long do you think before we can implement the implant idea.”
“Well, its going to have to be a dual implant system we use” Tikva stated “We stick with the first idea of the implant for the transponder and AI communication positioned in the bone behind the ear and then a separate implant with everything else situated at the heart and it will have all of the same safety protocols as the first implant so it cannot be compromised and we can begin next weekend.”
As the meeting came to an end Jack said “Can we get the news about what happened with the Hermes and the attempt at framing me out onto the news networks? As long as we don’t let them know that we have their people in custody or the steps we are taking to counter them we might be able to scare them into making mistakes we can use to capture them or bust their network wide open.”
They agreed that some sort of news release was required and went with it later that day, the fact that a terrorist group was working against them the ordinary people and how close that they came to being almost wiped out down to the last would make everyone become more vigilant. It wouldn’t make Alastor Moody jump for joy but he would class it as a start and the fact that the darkness had made a strike against them and failed would wake most of those who were complacent about the whole thing. It would only spur the people onwards; towards making sure that they would win and defeat the dark.
Jack though was going to make sure that this did not interfere with his life, he was going to make sure that he and his crews trained hard for what was coming, so much so that the holo-suite simulator for the Hermes was booked solid for every Hermes crew that was being created and Jack made sure to add in a similar disaster to the real life one into the simulator to test the crews response to it. He was going to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the new crews as he wanted them as ready as possible for what was to come. He was going to make sure that he himself was as ready as he could get especially since Sam was pregnant. He wanted his children to grow up in a world where they could have peace but be ready for war and when he got his hands on those bastards that almost wiped out his new family he would make them pay, this was now a personal matter between him and them and he was going to win.
(End of Chapter)