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The Walls Have Ears

Posted on Tue May 17th, 2016 @ 11:47pm by Lieutenant Commander Le Austin & Lieutenant JG Danetria Andrakos-Roarke

Mission: Brave New World
Location: Montreal

"Thanks for coming over to the Monty, Dana," Austin said to her from his camped position in the wall next to her. "I know we've still got a list three miles long on the base still, but I keep getting these weird readings from the bulkheads here that I can't place," He explained. "Figured you'd be the one to tell me if my ship's about to fall apart," He joked.

"Because she's beat up?"the tiny engineer answered back with a shake of her head. "No. People put too much stock in aesthetics. The ships with less gloss and old dents are the tough birds. They were tested and made it out alright. She's got some burrs. I can tell you by ear that there's a problem in the air scrubbers from sound alone just standing here, but you said bulkhead. And you called the short person. I know where this is going.."

Austin laughed, "I'm not going to lie," He said, "I need your size to get in the far back corner. I'm too big, but you're also my structural engineer, so I figured if anyone could find out what is causing the weird resonance flux I'm seeing it'll be you," He explained.

"That's no problem. Tight squeezes don't bother me so long as I don't have to go in packed in an environmental suit. Trying to fix a tear when you're stuck between walls gets a little panicky."It was pretty much the only time that Dana could remember being terrified of a small space. Even when she had to scoot with her arms straight out ahead of her pushing her toolkit, it never bothered her. "Pop 'er open for me, would you?"

"You got it," Austin said, pulling back the hatch and hefting it to the side. "I'll squeeze in behind you to hand you tools," He offered.

"Sounds good," Dana lit up a small hand torch and peeked inside first before she stepped in with her shoulders to the back wall, giving the place a good look over as she'd met a few angry rodents living between the walls in her time. "There's a fair bit of stuff on the ground back here. None of it's chewed wires or flecked off plating. Dust, uh.." She squatted down and picked up something colorful to look at it closer. "Food wrappers? Does the Montreal have rats or messy engineers?"

"WHO IS LITTERING IN MY SHIP?!" Austin barked back out into the main engineering pit. There was a rapid flurry of denials, "NO ONE BETTER BE LITTERING IN MY SHIP!" Austin bellowed.

He turned back into the bulkhead, "There's litter in my ship?!" He asked.

"Yeah. Ooo.. first bit of dangles, too. That'll need to be tucked up. Looks like one of the panel grounds got knocked out, but that's all I'm seeing so far. You'd think if someone was eating back here, they'd fix the ground. Exploding consoles aren't great. Give me a sec." Yanking the insulated gloves off of her belt, Andrakos planted her feet against the wall one after the other and shimmied her way high enough to tuck the wiring back up and secure it where it should have been. She shimmied over a little to eyeball the circuit closer when something out of place dug into her shoulder. There wasn't anything that should be set this high on an interior hub that wasn't tucked into a minor inset. This was boxy and edged and decidedly out of place, not to mention a little too high.

Shimmying over a bit more, Andrakos shined her light on it for a better look. "Hey, sir? Can you get back here?" she asked, moving her light so it'd shine farther along the wall about the same height. Sure enough about forty feet there was another box barely discernible in the dim halo that her light could reach. "You've got bugs."

Austin subconsciously rubbed the stub where his pinky formerly was, "What... uhm... what kind of bugs..." He asked, angry flash backs to the metal eating spiders all those years ago on Starbase Ronin.

The question struck Dana as a little odd, so she looked back down the narrow space at her boss. "Umm.. the kind that broadcast out? Without taking it apart, I won't know what it's sending out exactly. It's a thick set up.. Don't see any outside wires.. I'd rather not move it before we make sure that it won't explode if tampered with."

Austin made a face, "Someone has the ship bugged?" He asked, sounding very unhappy.

"That'd be a yup," she called back almost chipperly. "I can see at least two spaced about 50 feet apart. I bet if I go poking, I'll find more. They're set real high in the wall- I'd say about seven feet up. Want me to scrounge out more and mark them? It'll take me awhile, but I'm used to mouse duty. Better than retrieving lost rings."

Austin squeezed into the bulkhead and got in as far as his larger size would allow him, following her flash light to the bugs, "Dammit..." He said, rubbing his chin. He pulled out an Engineering tricorder and held it close to one, "I don't think we need to go crawling. This is the resonance I've been picking up on. I thought it was micro-fractures in the hull, but I guess not..."

"I'm trying to think of reasons why someone would bug engineering. Testing tech, figuring warp and such, keeping a fix on where you are without bugging the bridge- I imagine that would be harder. That's all that comes to mind.." Not that it wasn't a lot, but it still seemed like a lot of work for little investment. "It'd make more sense for a person to be being spied on. Want me to pass it down to you?"

"If you think you can dislodge it safely," Austin replied. "I don't want engineer fricassee all over my ship," He replied, half joking.

"Wouldn't be the first time I've been blown up.." grumbled Dana as she carefully examined the piece again. Placing her light in her mouth for a moment, she carefully poked and prodded the device until she could remove it from the wall. The brunette looked it over one last time before handing it down to Austin. "Here.. I need to climb down."

Austin took the device and stuck it in his pocket and held out his hands, "Drop, I'll catch you."

The brunette's eyebrows raised slightly. "Catch me? I'm only about seven feet up, sir. I can only do this because of how close the walls are. If you want to help me down, hold a hand up for me for footing and I can half slide, half drop and you can just hoist my elbow to guide me down. Typically I just drop and I'm okay. I just don't want one or both of us eating walls with our elbows or a knee in your nose or something."

"Alright, hotshot, do what you gotta do," Austin said, laughing a bit as he backed away from where she'd pinned herself up.

With a slight derisive snort, Dana put her light back in her mouth, grumbling about being called a hotshot. She twisted her position just so and released her body tension enough that she could slide a little. When the gap became larger, she twisted and dropped completely. "These are tree climbing skills, sir," she said, dusting her hands off on her flanks without a care for the dust she was accumulating on her side.

"I better not see you climbing on my warp rings," Austin chided, jokingly.

Again the tiny woman made an odd noise that sounded vaguely disagreeable. "I rather like my skin, thank you. I'll skip that. So who do you think put these up here?"

"Don't know," Austin aid, looking down at the small box in his hand. "Not rightly sure what these things are, but we need to find out. Got time to go see the bosslady?"

"You're getting used to this boss thing, aren't you?" Not that she was much better when she'd had her own engineering to play in. "If you tell me to, I go see the lead gal. Are we going to see the captain?"

"Yeah," Austin replied, grinning. "Or at least the XO if she's not around. I'll put a call into the Monty CO too, see if I can get him in on it. Probably should reach out to Security too and let them know. This is pretty serious if you ask me," Austin explained.

Dana nodded her head in response. "I'll stick around then."


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