NCC - 81102
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A Little Bit of Breaking and Entering...

Posted on Sat Oct 10th, 2020 @ 12:19pm by Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Lieutenant JG Cassandra Thorn PhD

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Odyssey - Deck 5 Holodeck 2
Timeline: MD9

He supposed he should have a reason, really. But as Bear strode purposefully down the corridor on Deck 5 and came to stand outside Holodeck 2's entry point, he didn't. Not even a flimsy excuse of a reason, in all honesty.

It had started innocently enough, as things went. He'd had some time on his hands, and Cassandra Thorn on his mind, and that circular pattern never lasted long in the security officer's case. Bear wasn't one to waste time overthinking a situation when he could act and achieve results. Well, that wasn't entirely true, he didn't overthink, period.

There had been a plan. Locate the counsellor, find out when she was next free. Simple, effective. Possible. Except... Lt Thorn had been in the holodeck for over an hour now and showed no sign of exiting. Which.... well, was fine. Under normal circumstances. But Bear was bored, and so he'd gone looking deeper than just the '/played' time and delved into the settings of the program that held Cass a happy hostage.

The answer to that question he shouldn't even be asking was too much to resist, so he didn't bother.

"Override code, Bravo Juliet Hotel Delta..." There followed a short string of numbers and the door slid open. Bear didn't hesitate, but took his step over the threshold and into the simulation. The door sealed behind him.

Heatherstrewn mountains looming over a moody, dark lake that stretched as far as he could see were the immediate background to a ruined castle lazily adopting stage-front. Undulating green grass hid shapes that suggested the rest of the building's previous grandiose stature. And a stone bridge crossed from left to right as Bear stood, captivated entirely, and visually soaked this all in for a moment before exploring further.

Atop the still standing tower was set up a medieval style table, filled with pieces of paper, PADDs, a bottle of dark tinted glass and a mug serving as paperweights, as well as an extendable monocular. There were blueprints and drawings on many of the papers and folded parchents that looked like maps strewn about as well.

There was a backpack to the side, against a ruined wall. A chest of sorts to the other side, one of those flat ones that you could sit on.

Below, just near the entry to the tower a large dug out hole, leading towards the wall that bordered the lake.

"Cass?" Bear called out, repeating her name a second time, louder when there was no immediate response. He pushed the pieces of paper about a bit, looking at the imagery rather than the writing, then wandered closer to the dug-out and called again. "Cass!"

Below in the catacombs, when she heard the call, Cass momentarily froze. "What the bloody 'ell is 'e doin' ere?" There was no mistaking the timbre of that voice.

She'd done her best the past few days avoiding Bear, in off duty situations. Not that he been pressing for another meeting or anything. Cass just needed some time alone, to refocus, to think. To get her head back in mission mode.

Kaz was out there and likely had no idea if the ship sent to find him was friend or foe. Linn likely knew the Odyssey was after him, and particularly that Tavis was leading the charge. He was a seasoned and very capable agent who could find out information like this, even if on the run from what few friends he had left.

What few friends all of Project Castermer members had left. Each other.

So, she took a deep breath, brought about the casual aura of Cass the Counselor and made her way up the stairs from the catacombs.

"Bear? Wha' are yeh doin' ere?"

She didn't get to see the relief on his face, as Bear masked it when he turned around to greet her. There was, however, a marginally guilty look hidden in his gaze.

"Would you believe me if I told you that one of the emitters was glitch..." Bear's half-hearted poker face broke into a broader grin. He held up his hands in a mock surrender. "Ah, screw it. I wanted to see you. I was curious. And it kinda feels like you've been avoiding me." Brutal honesty prevailed.

"So yeh broke inter my 'olodeck time." She replied with an even gaze and tone as she exited the catacoms, the hair in her messy ponytail dancing in the light, warm breeze.

Along with a messy ponytail came no make up, a green, short sleeved shirt and a pair of black cargo pants and comfortable climber's shoes.

To emphasize her statement, she crossed her arms on her chest.

A tilt of his head was accompanied by an emotive exhale that suggested Bear had zero problem with the rough and ready appearance of the ship's counsellor. He stood, firm in his stance. He nodded, firmly and confidently and he locked his gaze with Cass' own. "I did, yes." Bear paused, and mostly successfully bit back a grin. "I'm not sorry."

"So, whatcher want?" She asked. Not waiting for a reply, she headed up the stairs towards the top of the tower.

Bear rubbed his chin as she headed away from him, brushed non-existent dirt from his black sleeveless tee and followed. "This is Loch Ness, right?" He asked, better at pronouncing those two words this time. "Here be monsters..." Good enough reason, in his book, even if he had just thought it up on the spur.

"Oh aye," she threw over her shoulder. "There was reports on there per'aps bein' underground tunnels or cavern systems under th' lake tha i' lives in."

As they reached the top, she went over to the table and pulled out a rolled piece of parchment, unrolled it and placed the map that was drawn on the inside on the table.

It was more of a drawing than an actual map of what a theoretical layout of the underground would look like.

Casually, she eyed one of the PADDs on the top. Good, it seemed untouched. Now she just needed to make sure it had auto-locked and to tuck it back onto the backpack.

"So you've been exploring unknown tunnels, by yourself?" He asked, aiming to keep Cass' attention busy.

This was easier than he'd expected, Bear noted, and counted that as a win. She hadn't asked him to leave either, which was definitely a good sign.

Bear leant over the tabletop, palms resting on the surface itself and scanned the various items lying atop it. Then he reached out and picked up one of the PADDs at random, turned it in his hand. "Lot of data here," he noted, referencing the collection in its current entirety. "Need some help?"

Cass fought down a reaction as, by Murphy's Law, he grabbed the one PADD that contained information on Memory Theta's findings and Cass' own thoughts and conclusions on the state of the ship and crew and their role in the capturing of Kazyah Linn.

"Stupid, reckless, idiot!" Thorn swore at herself internally. Why'd she have to bring sensitive information with her? Why didn't she just keep it in her quarters?

"Oh that's right, because I didn't think someone would break into my bloody holodeck program and invade my privacy. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" The internal rant continued.

"Well I like me research. An' cross referencin' things is always a good thing, and sure..." She said, her eyes both on him and on the PADD, "be casual, be casual."

It felt good to have Cass' gaze on him like that, and Bear's eyes gleamed with the attention as he considered the PADD in his hand versus those on the table. There were a lot, and what with the paperwork and the secret tunnels, his curiosity was definitely piqued. He paced, a couple of times, from one end of the ancient, exposed stone room, thoughts mixed up between the counsellor and her clearly important (to her) hobby.

"This is really serious for you, isn't it?" Bear asked, tightening his grip on the PADD and lifting it up to regard its locked screen. He looked down then, to its siblings strewn seemingly carelessly across the old parchments. "You cross-reference for fun..." He didn't exactly ask, but mused out loud. A nod. "Okay."

Bear reached out across the table then, aimed to hand the PADD back. "Shall I start with this one, or the maps then?" He asked, unsure why he was sounding so serious about actually helping here. Dark eyes regarded her from under a lowered brow. "Or can I help you dig or something?" He offered, hopefully.

As Cass took the PADD, the look that passed from her to the security officer convinced Bear very swiftly that, truly, she didn't want any of those things.

"I'll let myself out," he said, and turned to leave.



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