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[Round 11] JP: Lt (jg) Jaxon Mc Ghee & PNPC 1Lt Lex Menar, "So


Anthony Meeks
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((Embassy Ground, Marine CIC))

::Both Marine and Engineer had been working for a few hours on the implant.

Progress was being made, but as Jaxon had thought, the micro power source was

proving tricky. The tiny shield that separated the two alloys wasn’t breaking

down fast enough; it was taking too much time to generate enough power::

Mc Ghee: ::lowering a tool:: Okay, we’ve got it down to 8.4 seconds between

activation and enough power being generated for your communication.

::Lex let slip a frustrated sigh.::

Menar: It's playing hard to get. 8.4 is too long. We can do better, we just have

to persuade it. What if we change the orientation of the power cell... like

this? That might increase pressure on the division slightly.

Mc Ghee: You’re right and I was thinking, if we place the break fault line

between the separating layers here instead…

::They changed a few parameters to simulate their new suggestions. Looking at

the screen they watched the newest simulation unfold and the how the energy

levels rose far more rapidly.::

Mc Ghee: A good idea. 6.2 seconds. I think with our time limit this is the best

we can get for now. Still, it means you need be left alone for almost a minute

near this communication terminal. ::sounding casual:: I’m guessing here that

others won’t be present.

::Lex's joy at watching the simulation run more smoothly was once again replaced

with apprehension as Mc Ghee's natural curiosity took hold.::

Menar: ::Shrugging theatrically:: Who knows. It depends on exactly where and why

it gets used.

Mc Ghee: oO Not giving an inch are you. Oo

::Before Mc Ghee could answer, the doors to the room opened and Isaac walked in.

Jaxon nodded a greeting and turned back to his work. Lex's eyes rose from the

screen of the PADD and lingered a while.::

Green: ::Smiling:: Don’t let me interrupt. I was just checking on your progress

and the condition of that cup of raktajino.

Mc Ghee: ::lost in thoughts:: I don’t drink coffee, Isaac

Menar: ::Reaching for her cup.:: Well, I do, and the last one I had ran out...

::She was aware that she had been using Isaac as a glorified waiter for the

whole time that she had been working on this project, but it seemed that he

didn't mind. Still, she would have to make sure that she made it up to him some

time in the near future.::

Green: Well, let me get you another. Jaxon, can I get you anything?

Mc Ghee: I cup of black tea would be great Isaac.

Green: ::With a wink:: I’ll be right back then.

::Green left, lights flickering on as he walked towards the dark offices. Now

they had tested and simulated the power source sufficiently on a computer

screen, Mc Ghee thought it was time to begin assembly. Jaxon began to place all

the individual parts they already had on an anti-static cloth before him. He

wasn’t sure whether this Romulan work station was automatically shielded against

such a charge and thought it best not to take chances. Looking at the blueprint

on the screen he frowned.::

Mc Ghee: ::thoughtfully:: Lex, you’ve got a micro data chip listed here. What do

you need that for? oO With a high end upload port. Oo

::After enduring several attempts to glean information about the mission, and

feeling that she was getting to know Mc Ghee a little through working with him

on this project, Lex decided that the best way to handle the confidentiality

issue would be to take the bull by the horns and resort to her usual smoke and

mirrors tactics.::

Menar: ::Smiling disarmingly:: I've heard a good magician doesn't give away her

secrets.

Mc Ghee: Are you sure you need it?

::She nodded, confidently.::

Menar: Completely. Are you worried that I don't know what I'm doing?

::Her tone was pleasant, almost nonchalant.::

Mc Ghee: I’m only asking because I didn’t know. I was running the simulations

without knowing a data point was drawing energy. No wonder it took so much time

to build up enough power. oO Pretty strange data storage at that. Oo

Menar: Trust me, it's staying put. I think we've done well to get the response

time on the device down as low as we have, and it should be fast enough now for

the data chip not to become an issue.

:: The was a sound behind them and Isaac arrived carrying steaming mugs. The

Marine wordlessly placed them on the table and left. Lex couldn't help but feel

a little bad for him; she was deep into the realms of her specialism and on a

tight timescale. Had she not been, she would have asked him to stay, and

explained what she was doing, step by step. Mc Ghee took up the note of coffee

mixed with black tea though he refrained from taking his mug. Now it came to the

construction he decided to take all the fun for himself. ::

Mc Ghee: I’ll begin assembly now. Please ready the bio matter for the casing.

::Jaxon slipped an ocular over one eye and began work. The tiny device had a

minute internal skeleton to hold the individual components. Now they had to be

installed onto this frame one by one. He heard Lex working beside him, no doubt

getting the casing ready. Lex allowed him to work, but casually disregarded his

request about the casing. After all, the device wasn't for her use, and she had

no intention of revealing the identity of its intended owner. The bio-casing

would have to be prepared later.::

Menar: ::Attempting to divert the engineer:: How long do you think this will

take to build?

Mc Ghee: The assembly shouldn’t take long. Three or four minutes, 20 minutes

altogether with the bio-casing. ::adjusting his eyepiece:: I still don’t get why

this has to be such a secret.

::It was time once again for the direct approach.::

Menar: It's not important that you do. Only that it is.

::He couldn’t react to her answer right away, as he had to concentrate while

connecting the components. Instead he let her continue, while he took up the

tiny ‘nonspecific uplink terminal’ with a fine tweezer.::

Menar: It would probably be best if you try to stem your curiosity for now...

::Before he installed it he stopped his work and looked up, not to her, but to

the screen before him. The tiny device hovered over the implant in a steady

hand..::

Mc Ghee: Lex my curiosity is normal and my annoyance is nothing personal. I

don’t like shadowy, secret stuff when I’m not in on them.

::She took a deep breath, and then sighed. She didn't want to be even more

direct and bluntly tell him to stop asking; such a course of action would not

have been outside the bounds of normal behaviour for her, but in this case it

wouldn't really be conducive to the mission.::

Menar: I've already told you that I can't give you any information. Why do you

have such a problem with this?

Mc Ghee: Because I don’t know what this is intended to do.

::Lex's reply was accompanied by a resigned shake of the head. There was

something about that last statement... something that sounded like Mc Ghee was

questioning her motives. In a heartbeat, she stopped caring about his pride. She

was following orders, and ultimately, they had to be the most important

consideration.::

Menar: ::Leaning back in her chair.:: That's the way things are going to stay.

Trust me or not, I don't care. I'll finish the job from here if that's how it

is.

::There was a pause which the chief used to make some final connections. The

room seemed a little colder. Jaxon had not intended to imply she would use the

device illegally, after all she was a Marine and they had their own list of

laws. He made the final connections and sealed the unusual battery.::

Mc Ghee: ::getting up:: Well I’m done. ::absently ordering the tools before

him:: Lex I truly hope you get whatever you are trying to get onto that terminal

without you getting caught in the process.

::His comment confirmed her suspicions that he would be able to work out what

the device was designed to do. With her professional pride wounded, she made no

attempts to sugar the pill as she effectively passed on her orders of

confidentiality.::

Menar: ::Frostily:: Look, Lieutenant, I'm sure I don't have to spell out that if

I can't talk about the reason why this was built to anyone then you can't talk

about the fact that it even exists? Or do you think you're onto something now

because you worked out what we were building?

::Mc Ghee considered this. It was obvious enough that he had to keep his mouth

shut, but the question was easy to enough to answer.::

Mc Ghee: Lieutenant, I doubt I could hand you weapon without you figuring out

what it is and that ::pointing at the probe:: is just the same. An interface for

computers isn’t necessarily needed to talk. Combined with a large data point and

upload link and you’ve got a transmitting device that can send information. ::

catching her look :: We’re both not fools and have been doing our jobs long

enough. You only called me because you have no time; if you had, you would’ve

solved the problem yourself.

::She edged towards him, her eyes locked with his, and no hint of a smile on her

face.::

Menar: You didn't answer the question...

::Mc Ghee suppressed a grin. She was right; he hadn’t answered her and her tone

was serious with the hint of a threat. Things were afoot and he wasn’t going to

find out what.::

Mc Ghee: oO Always Alert. Oo Normally I would remind you of my oath to Starfleet

and consider this enough. In this case however; I have no idea that this device

exists, its intended purpose or who created it, you have my word. Does that

suffice?

::The Ktarian smiled like a jackal and took a few steps backward. The irony of

the moment was delicious. His word was to be good enough, and yet hers wasn't?::

Menar: The word of a Starfleet officer always suffices, Mr. Mc Ghee. For me,

anyway.

::The Chief left the work station and made for the door. Keying his code the

doors parted and he paused::

Mc Ghee: Lieutenant I unintentionally insulted you a few moments ago by

inferring that you may be acting illegally. Please accept my apologies. I am

aware you would do nothing dishonorable to the fleet or your unit. Goodnight.

::Lex raised an eyebrow as the engineer pulled a rapid U-turn. Her scathing

comment had apparently made him aware of how unreasonable she felt he was being.

After all, the situation was difficult for her as well, and had she any option

other than to request his help and drag him into a pit of mysteries, she would

have taken it. She hesitated for a moment before answering him; it was just for

long enough to let her irritation disperse.::

Menar: Think nothing of it. Goodnight.

TBC

A JP by

Commander Tallis Rhul

First Officer

Federation Embassy Duronis II

USS Thunder NCC-70605

and

Lt.(jg) Jaxon Mc Ghee

Chief Engineering Officer

Embassy Duronis II

USS Thunder NCC 70605

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