NCC - 81102
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Babysitting the 'Borg'

Posted on Mon Feb 15th, 2021 @ 5:10pm by Lieutenant Commander Bear Jasper & Lieutenant Aurora 4827/A
Edited on on Wed Mar 3rd, 2021 @ 10:28am

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: USS Odyssey
Timeline: MD13 - After the Captain's Briefing

It didn't seem to really matter which Aurora he spoke to, so Bear simply headed to whichever individual was currently the closest. Hopefully by now the young woman - women? - would have figured out some kind of means of providing whatever the ex-Bee needed to exist within acceptable levels of comfort on board the Odyssey.

Hopefully, he mused as he caught sight of her and raised a hand in greeting, Five could be contained, guarded and kept content enough to not try and cause any trouble. What Bear needed now was reassurance and specific details, in order that his team could maintain shipboard security with their new 'guest'.

"Aurora," Bear said, with an upward nod of his head as he drew closer. A smile briefly flickered over serious features. "How's the reality of dealing with Five's presence going?"

It was just Aurora's luck that it was Violet the Chief of Security had run down. Violet, who had the worst poker face. Her grimace formed before she could catch herself. She considered bluffing but that seemed rather pointless now.

"It's...a process, sir," she replied after a moment, "Five is cooperating but I think in terms of social skills I think the Borg had them removed to make room for more implants. He is like what someone would think a Vulcan was like if one never met a Vulcan and had the race described to them by a biased third party."

"That great, huh?" Bear noted rather than asked. There was amusement rather than frustration in his tone, but it didn't show in his face as he listened. "I've never heard anyone call the Borg sociable before either," he admitted. "But I meant the tech side of things - how are y'all doing with the power situation? Y'know this cradle or whatever you're building?"

"Actually quite well," Aurora replied, "Two of me are working on it right now. It's truly a wondrous technical achievement. I feel Five would be a great asset to Starfleet and the Federation, but I am not certain he would be able to effectively acclimate to our rules and regulations."

She hesitated, "Well, that's not true. It's people I'm not sure he can acclimate to."

Bear smiled at the enthusiasm in the young woman's tone. "Wondrous huh?" He asked, rhetorically, then frowned again as she spoke about Five. "Yeah," Bear continued. "It's the people I have to worry about. I'm concerned about him roaming the ship, having access to the systems... everything really about having him here concerns me," he admitted. "I plan to keep him under guard the whole time he's in public, but could also use your help, if you can think of any way to track him?"

Aurora pondered that. After a moment she said, "Well, his Borg implants are certainly unique so we might be able to program the computers to keep track of them. But honestly there is nothing that can beat a pair of eyes; in my experience sensors can be fooled but security guards would not be.

"But I think if we truly want to get his cooperation Five needs to be handled with at least some level of, well, kindness. Not that he is the easiest person to be kind to. I admit he got under my skin earlier."

"I was wondering about that too," Bear confirmed. "Whether it was possible to track his implants. Not sure if he'd pick up on that or not." He scowled, unsure of the details and unfamiliar with the tech. "But yeah, agreed. And like I said, eyes-on is definitely Plan A. I just want a back-up or three, y'know?"

He considered Aurora's words then for a moment and nodded gently twice. "Respect might be possible," Bear suggested. "Kindness? I'm not sure if he'd believe that was real." His expression clouded as he picked up on the other connotations of her words. "He didn't cause you any trouble, did he?"

"Other than the fact that interfaced directly with the ship, you mean?" Aurora replied with a sardonic expression, "No, no trouble. We conducted a diagnostic and there doesn't seem to be any trouble but I have people keeping an eye out for any anomalies in our systems. I don't think there was anything malicious in his actions; he just doesn't grasp the concept of politeness."

"Fuck! He did what?" Bear asked, having come immediately from the captain's aftermath of the briefing to this conversation. Whatever had transpired for Aurora and Five during Tavis' little chat hadn't reached his eyes or ears just yet. "Tell me exactly what happened, now," he demanded, his voice stern though that annoyance was not directed at the young woman before him.

Aurora visibly winced at the tone and suddenly she was a first year cadet again, trying to process all the rules and regulations. It didn't help that "Bear" lived up to his name and towered over her.

"We took Five to the engineering lab," she explained, "And he explained what specifications he required for the device he is going to use for regeneration. Only instead of doing it verbally two tubes slid out of his wrist and connected with a monitor. Your people reacted quickly and tried to pull him away but couldn't, but by then it was over. We ran a full diagnostic and so far nothing unusual's shown up. There doesn't appear to be any nanoprobe infestation in our system or a virus."

Ignoring that wince due to his preoccupation with the response Aurora was giving, Bear frowned unhappily as the woman spoke. "I knew it," he said. "This is exactly what I'm worried about." He paced on the spot, focused internally for a moment, considering how he might fix this obviously dangerous issue. "He was too strong for my guys to pull him away?" He asked, but moved straight on through that question to his own worried thoughts. "If he wants to do something to hurt us or the Oddy, we're not going to be able to easily put him down."

"We need to be able to contain him," he told Aurora. "Which means you and I need to figure out something that can prevent that happening again. Be that a mutual agreement or a more physical arrangement with our 'friend'." Bear grimaced. "But either way, I'd really like to have a fail-safe to call on. Some way to lock him out, or drop him. We might need Dalton for that too..."

"I agree, sir," Aurora replied after a moment, "I don't like anyone being able to simply plug into restricted systems at will. I suppose the more extreme measures might be for us to rig some sort of security feature that would cause a very unpleasant feedback or flood his quarters with anethesine gas whenever he attempts it. Physical restraints would be cruel..."

She frowned thoughtfully, "I wonder if there is a medical alternative to neutralizing his nano probes..."

"Yeah," Bear noted with the hint of unhappiness to his words. "Physically restraining him is a hard no from the captain. But a security feature would be great." He scrunched up his face. "No idea on the detail, and not sure we can prevent him gaining access in the first place - Borg tech right?" Bear sighed. "Can we limit him? Attach some kinda sonic reaction to any attempts?" A heavy shrug demonstrated his awareness of his lack of knowledge here.

"You mean like some shock collar that goes off whenever he uses the probes?" Aurora rubbed her neck, acutely remembering her years of captivity, the experiments conducted on her, the humiliations and pains. She took a breath and felt a resolve set in.

"No," she said simply, "Commander I respect that we need to protect the ship and maintain security, but if we give Five a reason to hate and fear us he will lash out, he will rebel. And there is no telling what a person of his knack for survival might be capable of if he feels he is surrounded by enemies on all sides that want to control him. He is already here against his will; we are already on his bad side. We need to make an ally of him, and to do that we must display a modicum of trust. We have to appeal to his better nature. And if he doesn't have one..."

She smiled wryly, "We might have to teach him how to build one..."

Bear laughed, his easiest way to release the obvious tension in their discussion. "No," he said. "Not a shock collar. Sound. I meant sound. Like a really loud warning noise to warn us, and him, that he's overstepped." He chuckled. "I'm just a simple security guard," he underplayed his role. "Not a torturer."

"And yes, agreed. I'm thinking more along the lines of training a puppy than torturing an enemy." Bear frowned at his own lack of ability to explain his intentions. "Reward-based, but with built in warnings, that kinda deal."

"Oh," Aurora felt foolish for assuming the worst, she chalked it up to finding some common ground with Five. She thought a moment and said, "If we set up a security system independent from the ship's computer, then if he did use the nanoprobes he would not be able to easily disable them. It would not be difficult at all; simply reconfigure a few tricorders that were set up to detect nanoprobe activity. Then if they did detect unauthorized use they could transmit a warning directly to our tricorders as well as triggering an alarm."

She warmed to the idea, "It would not be hard at all to find space in the bulkhead of his quarters. And if your security people carried a dedicated tricorder on their person (OOC: If I recall the tricorders are very slim now, as seen in the last TNG Star Trek movie) and Five somehow attempted to use nanoprobes behind their backs then he would be found out."

"Great, thanks!" Returned Bear, truly sounding grateful in that moment for the fact that Aurora explained things in little words that he could understand. "That sounds perfect. How quickly can you and the team get that fail-safe up and running? And is it just a simple software update to get the tricorders working with the warning system?"

Aurora gave a slight shrug, "It shouldn't be difficult. With ensign Dalton's help I'm sure we can reconfigure perhaps five or so tricorders to do the job. The software shouldn't be much of an issue; just tell them what to look for an when they find it, either give a loud squeal or a private chirp to the right comm badges."

Bear nodded and looked thoughtful for a moment, as if this were a huge, important decision. "Chirp," he said, finally. "That'd be great. Now, all I need to figure out is how to get Five out of the system when he dives in like that. If he's too strong to physically be pulled away by my team... Can we get the system to somehow reject him?"

"Like...some Borg antibody?" Aurora pondered that, "That might take a little research. Nanoprobes are tricky things. What would be equally as tricky is creating some sort of unpleasant feedback that would be strong enough to deter Five but not strong enough to cause serious harm."

Aurora was very reluctant to go that far. But 'Bear' was a superior officer and his duty was to safeguard the ship. He really couldn't afford to be sentimental or idealistic, could he? After another moment she said, "We might need to have the medical department perform a physical on Five to get a better idea of whom we are dealing with. The problem with that is I don't see how we could coerce him into letting the doctors and nurses poke and prod him."

"Not necessarily a Borg antibody," Bear picked up on Aurora's terminology and ran with in. "I dunno," he considered, working with him own limitations on the system knowledge side of things. "Some sort of firewall that senses the breach and blocks him?"

He didn't necessarily need to hurt Five, though if it came down to the crew or Five that was an easy choice. Anything they did was unlikely to kill the xB after all.

"And yeah, I can't imagine he'd submit to being tested and examined either. Maybe Dalton can help with some sort of 'xB virus protection' or something?" Bear made a face. "But I'm not even sure I'm asking the right question on that front," he added with a wry grin.

Aurora felt terrible that she had assumed Bear meant some sort of shock. He wasn't some sort of barbarian! She assumed that perhaps like all security personnel she was reminded of the Dukes that had guarded her. She focused on her superior's query and said, "Well, Starfleet has been working on anti-nanoprobe measures for years, with mixed results. The little things are quite...feisty, and they have a tendency to do what Borgs do: adapt. But I will get together with Dawson and see what we can do, sir."

Oblivious to the undercurrent of concern inside Aurora's head, Bear nodded happily. "Okay, thanks," he said, at the limit of his ideas in this regard now. "And y'know," he added then. "If you come up with any thoughts let me know." Bear shrugged. "I'll fully admit I'm not up on the tech side of any anti-Borg defences. Five's the first xB I've met up close and personal."

He paused then, and let the work side of things fade out in order to do a genuine welfare check. "How are you and the other Auroras doing?"

"I'm fine," Aurora replied, smiling with the use of that particular pronoun, and glad to have the subject shifted to something less troublesome, "I think a couple of the officers are thinking of asking me out but they're not quite sure how," she giggled, "I think they feel they have to find two other people so they can have a triple date or something. Fortunately none of me were shot this time out; having one of me being stunned is a singularly unpleasant experience. And how are you doing, Commander?" she did not add that she sensed undercurrents of stress between him and the XO; she was a department head but still a subordinate, and she didn't think the two of them were enough friends to start prying.

Bear offered up a warm smile and lightly shook his head in sociable amusement. "A couple of the officers huh?" He asked, rhetorically and offered up one half of a fist bump to Violet. "Yup, definitely happy no one got shot," he agreed wholeheartedly. "And I'm good, thanks for asking," he answered her a little too quickly. He wasn't 'not' okay, though he did have some concerns regarding the Hawk/Tavis relationship - which was not a subject he could really get into with anyone else.

So Bear canted his head quizzically, and asked the question he suspected everyone was thinking.

"So, how would that work?" He asked with a calm curiosity. "I guess you'd all be on the date anyway?"

Aurora smiled almost shyly. She scratched the side of her nose and replied, "Well...it's...complicated," she suddenly felt a touch emboldened and added, "I suppose there is only one way to find out, isn't there, Commander?"

"I suppose so," Bear confirmed, a warm grin lighting his dark eyes for a moment. Right now though, his interest was elsewhere. "Well, I don't know about a 'date' but I'm always up for a drink among friends," he suggested.

She smiled, "Was there anything else, sir? It sounds like I have a lot on my plate, as the ancient saying goes. And it might take all three of me to accomplish it all."

"Think we've covered things for now," said Bear with a decisive double nod. "Yell if I can help in any way," he offered, while vehemently hoping Aurora could tell he'd be mostly useless in that capacity. "Or just give me a heads-up when you want those drinks." He met those violet eyes and smiled. "Thanks, Aurora."

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