NCC - 81102
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Crossed Wires

Posted on Fri Feb 19th, 2021 @ 2:10pm by Ensign Alex Dalton & Commander Magnus Hawkins

Mission: Mission 1: Dirty Little Secret
Location: Engineering Lab, Deck Eight

Although Hawk had a familiarity with cybersecurity protocols in his time aboard the Challenger, the actual security of devices was several degrees of technical aptitude beyond him. Even so, he found himself en route to check in on the construction of the Ex-Borg's special accommodation.

It was proving a headache for Dalton and his team also. Though Five have uploaded the specifications required it was still testing them and so far had exceeded Dalton's timeframe.

"Commander," Alex stiffened at Hawkins' appearance. The human Klingon hybrid though only a few inches taller than himself had the ability to intimidate everyone in the lab, Dalton included. "How can I help you?" he asked not wishing to end up the on XO's wrong side.

Hawk's mouth ticked up on either side in what appeared to be a false-start for a smile. "Actually I was coming to see if you needed any help," he began. "Commander Inahri's guest needs special accommodations, so I'm checking on their progress." Lines formed on his minimally ridged forehead as his brow raised expectantly. "What do you got so far?"

The Ensign picked up the small disk like object and passed it to the Commander: "It's advanced even by our standard," he explained. "The schematics for example took some serious studying," Alex waved a hand over the data padd beside them. "Then to replicate alternatives from readily available materials that wouldn't compromise the performance or duality has been a little tricky. As brutal as the Borg were they certainly had expert engineering know-how," he realised judging by Hawk's demeanour he was waffling rubbish and bit his tongue to mute his voice before it whittled on to explain his growing application for the Borg ability to fashion integrant things from scrap.

"Right," Hawk said with a nod. While he had no direct experience with the Borg, he was familiar with the battle footage. They were indeed as cold and merciless as any machine, and their technology was almost insurmountable. "If you had more time to study the schematics, what are the chances that you would acquire some of the 'know-how'? Enough to install a fail-safe feature, for example?"

The idea instantly sent up red flags for Alex. He licked this lips before responding: "It's possible, but it would be rather inappropriate sir," he voiced. "And unethical. Commander Inahri needs Five to trust us, not control him, otherwise he won't help track down our man."

Hawk drilled the younger man with a penetrating stare. "I don't know what you've inferred from my question, Ensign, but there was nothing ethical or unethical about it. All devices need an off-switch. I want you to divert efforts toward creating an off-switch for this device." Though he wasn't that much bigger than Alex, Hawk put every bit of excess height and weight forward as he leaned toward him. His voice dropped into a deeper octave.
"Can you do that, Ensign Dalton, or do you maintain your position that it's inappropriate?"

Despite his best efforts Alex felt himself wilt under Hawks heated glare as the XO swelled with authority. "I..." he started conflicted by the predicament he was caught up in. Had he simply misunderstood the Commander's request and simply wanted a way to protect Five from indivertibly harming himself? That there was no malicious or ill in his question at all, just concern for the drone's wellbeing?

Either way Hawkins was giving him an order, and while the pause opened into a vast chasm Alex knew he had to pick a side and very quickly before Hawkins continued to balloon to bursting point.
"Yes, I can do that Commander," he caved making a note to add this to his logs later.

"Can you do it sooner rather than later?" Hawk asked. "If not, let me know and I'll get you assistance."

The Ensign shook his head disliking Hawkins further: "I can manage thank you sir."

"Then what's the problem, Ensign?" Hawk asked. "You seem perturbed by something."

Alex's glare spoke the words he dared not to speak out loud to the XO as he continued to press him, it was unsettling and unnecessary. He got what he wanted, what more did he want? Or did he enjoy tossing his weight around to intimidate the crew. The Klingon blood would certainly enjoy that very much.

"There's no problem Commander," he replied curtly, "I'll begin remodelling the designs straight away."

"If there's no problem, then you might want to tell your face, tone of voice, and overall disposition." Hawk sniffed at the belligerent and timid ensign. "Keep me updated."

"Yes sir," Alex battled to contain himself as Hawk scolded him. He wished the XO would leave, at least then he'll be able to continue working. The sooner he was able to prove his capabilities to the Commander the sooner he'd be off his back and would stop pressing his buttons or at least he hoped so.

As he was already on his way out the door, Hawk did not give reply. There was nothing constructive to say since the only thought on his mind was, Where did the Academy get these ensigns?


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