Vincent's Discovery

Characters: Vincent, Lakir, & Shiraamer
Location: Miishakaal, parked at the Limii Starport
System: Theton

1125.13.1 - 9:20 Imperial Time, 2:20 Vilani Time

Vincent's comm chimes again. It's another email from Lakir.

It states, "Vincent, Tried doing a newsnet and public directory search on Oda Linnachre but came up empty. I got an 'unlisted for privacy' message. The same thing happened on a search for a Dyce and Anne Linnachre. Would you see if you can find anything more?

"Also, I was unable to find any public netcam views for the area around the bar, but I suspect that they're out there. I'd love it if you could get me access to them.

"Thanks!"

Vincent emails back, "Hell yeah! I'll do it."

He then heads back to his room and fires up his laptop. It's his first hack job since getting caught on Larkarda so he decides to play it safe. He erects a firewall inside of the wireless card built-in firewall. He also erects a fail safe mechanism that an autoshutdown procedure is initiated if the first firewall is breached and the second one comes under attack. It's not foolproof but it should work.

He then bypasses the ship's computer network and accesses the InfoNet directly through a local access hotspot here in the starport hangar bay. This will protect the ship's computer should Vincent's hacks arouse suspicion.

His first target is the public directory database. Although the safeguards are robust, Vincent finds his way in. He hits the database and finds the entries for Oda Linnachre as well as Dyce and Anne Linnachre. He copies down their street addresses and comm numbers.

He severs the connection and looks for Limii's security grid. Upon finding it, he starts hacking. The safeguards appear to be similar to those for the public directory. While still difficult to gain access, Vincent makes his way in. He finds the security camera network and selects the closest security camera to Igakhum's. A window opens on his laptop, providing him with a view of the area outside of the bar.

Experience has taught Vincent that he can't linger here forever. His presence will eventually be detected and someone will then try to trace him. He severs the connection.

He composes an email for Lakir. "I've got the addresses and comm numbers. I've also found a way into the security camera grid. There's a cam pretty close to the bar that I can access when you guys go to meet Oda. Gonna snoop around gov't sites to see what else I can dig up."

Vincent then turns his attention to government agency websites.

Before he can get started, he gets an email back from Lakir. "Thanks Vince. Just be careful around those gov sites. This RVE gives me the creeps. Any cams with a shot of our targets... er... contact's residence, or that alternate Linnachre residence? And any chance to get a sneak peek ahead of time, or is that tempting fate?"

Vincent replies, "Once I am done with the gov'n search I'll see if I can locate their residence, but I want to leave that last just in case something happens and I get severed from the net."

He returns his attention to his hacking. The Makhidkarun Bureau netsite is next. They're the ones who Mersshon said Oda snagged the prototype from. He looks for an employee login screen for their intranet and finds it. The security is tough, but Vincent is able to effectively circumnavigate the protocols. He does a search for "Oda Linnachre" and is forwarded to a case file in the Makhidkarun Intelligence Agency.

Problem: The movement and positions of Ziru Sirkaa naval assets stationed at Theton, or passing through the system, were being predicted with alarming accuracy by Imperial forces and privateers.

Investigation: Suspecting the presence of spies, we performed a thorough screening of all military personnel. When that yielded no positive matches, we began combing through the civilian population. Monitoring stations at strategic observation locations were established. 83 subjects met the criteria for potential fleet watchers. These subjects were put under surveillance and had their comm lines tapped to determine if there was sufficient evidence to warrant interrogation.

Results: Only one person of interest from the batch of 83 turned out to be a spy: Oda Linnachre. A former GSbAG employee, she was approached by an unknown Imperial agent who recruited her to monitor and report fleet activity. Her cover was that she was a purchasing agent for Wellesmoor Diversified Products. While her cover story holds, a search of her apartment has validated our suspicions.

Solution: Have Ms. Linnachre work for us by sending erroneous information to her contacts back in the Imperium. To enforce her compliance, her brother, Dyce Linnachre, his wife, Anne, and their two children, Amda and Wilii, have been incarcerated under the Treasonous Activity Act and interred at the Theton Internment Camp.

Maintenance: Once per uumash, an agent meets with Ms. Linnachre to provide her information for her reports. So long as Ms. Linnachre's superiors continue to accept her reports, she is of value to us. Once this is no longer the case, her status and value to the Ziru Sirkaa will have to be re-evaluated. However, it is the opinion of this committee that termination or expulsion to a penal colony be the two recommended options.

10:00 Imperial Time, 3:00 Vilani Time

Lakir is just sitting down to eat his sandwich when he gets a comm call from Vincent. "Dude! Get over here right now. You have to see this."

"What?"

"You have to see it, man. You just have to see it."

"Ok, be right there."

Lakir grabs his sandwich and his beverage and jogs over to Vincent's room. The door is open and he goes in.

"Read this," Vincent says, backing out of the way. "I've made a copy just in case."

Lakir takes a bite out of his sandwich and starts reading. The first thing he notices is that Vincent is in the Makhidkarun Intelligence Agency's internal network. Lakir can hardly believe his eyes. Back in the day, he'd have killed to get in here. He sets aside his sandwich and reads the file.

After he's given Lakir a few minutes to make some progress on the file, Vincent says, "Lakir, this is not good. We have to go and tell the Captain. This is huge man. They could be trying to kill her, if they haven't already. Damn man we need to get what we came for and get the hell outta there. Let me see what else I can come up with, I had to get this to you as soon as possible."

"I'll prep a report for the Cap'n. Unfortunately, it looks like we've dropped into the middle of a counter intel op, and I'm thinkin' just gettin' out of the system, let alone recovering the alleged bioscanner prototype just got somewhat more challenging. If the MIA is lookin' to shut down her network, or to recover something 'stolen' from them, we'll all be for the long hop.

"Check the timeline on her bein' nailed- it may have a relationship to Mersshon's info flow to us. Maybe he knew, maybe he didn't.

See'n as how it don't look like her Bro is goin' home anytime soon, you might as well see what you can dig up on this Theton Internment Camp."

Lakir then places a call to the Cap'n to see if she's got time to see him. Vincent hands him the holocrystal copy of the data he made.

"Shiraamer here."

"Cap'n, I'm here with Vincent and he's made a discovery that I think you should take a look at."

"Can you bring it to the bridge?"

Vincent nods affirmative.

"We'll be right there."

10:15 Imperial Time, 3:15 Vilani Time

Shiraamer finishes taking down her notes from her route plans and available cargo and turns her attention to an email from Lakir.

Contained therein are multiple routes to and from the bar, Oda Linnachre's residence, and some couple named Dyce & Anne Linnachre. There's a list of travel options, including subway pods (small quasi-independent rail cars), buses, and elevators and plain old stairs can be used. There are also taxi services. He mentions that Vincent has managed to hack his way into the security grid and was able to gain access to the security camera in the vicinity of the bar.

There's also a list of legal weapons one can carry around and use for self-defense.

He ends with, "And I checked for customs procedures for state and corporate secrets to cross extraterritorial borders and came up with zilch. It'll be risky."

Shiraamer sighs and says out loud, "They've certainly done their homework."

Just then her comm buzzes.

"Shiraamer here."

"Cap'n, I'm here with Vincent and he's made a discovery that I think you should take a look at."

"Can you bring it to the bridge?"

"We'll be right there."

A couple minutes later, Lakir and Vincent are on the bridge. Vincent is holding his laptop and is scrutinizing the screen.

"You'll wanna take a look at this," Lakir says, "And Vincent's already made a copy." He waves a holocrystal for emphasis.

Vincent hands Shiraamer his laptop.

Shiraamer notices that Vincent has gained access to the Makhidkarun Intelligence Agency's internal network. Makhidkarun is the megacorp that Mersshon said that Oda stole the bioscanner prototype from. But Shiraamer knows that Vilani megacorporations are the Vilani Bureaux that act as interstellar governments for the Ziru Sirkaa.

Before she can say anything Vincent adds, "While Lakir was on the comm with you, I found out that this whole operation went down eight months ago. The fleet watching reports that she's been sending to Mersshon since then have been given to her by Makhidkarun. She's being forced to work for them."

Vincent takes his laptop back from the stunned captain. "I'm gonna try and find where this Internment Camp is on Theton."

"So what's the plan Capn'?" Lakir asks. "Sure as shit this is some sort of set-up. We've come along way for a short trip out the airlock if the MIA grabs us, and I doubt this 'bioscanner' is really a 'bioscanner', not if she's dealing in fleet watch info with Mersshon."

Lakir continues while Shiraamer ponders what she read, "We know where she'll be in about 4 1/2 hours, and what she looks like, no need to rush into a meet that might be compromised. A surviel op is possible, followed by other site contact, using the call sign. Capn's call, as she's got a min 4 1/2 hours, or out to a max of whatever. Oda's waited this long, a few more periods ain't goin't matter much, unless 'her status and value to the Ziru Sirkaa will have to be re-evaluated' has occurred, and she's runnin'.

"If she's tryin' ta run, and this is an 'extract' op by Mersshon, how will she react to her Bro and family being held as hostages, and definite outside fodder when they serve no further purpose..? NVE= return to Vilani values... got those strong personal ties to 'family, clan, Boss..'.

"If it's just an attempt to shut down more of the Fleet Watch network, then we all die when the MIA hit us; or, we try to run in the ship, get hit by the Close Guard, if we even leave the pad.

"If it's just a regular fleet watch report transfer, maybe we collect the 'bioscanner' and depart, with the blessing of MIA, knowing that another false report is merrily on it's way, collect our pay from Mersshon, and refit Miishakaal to a state where we don't have to worry about bein' puppy chow."

Shiraamer rolls her eyes at the latest development and then looks at Vincent and Lakir. "You guys did good on this. Let's take it one step at a time. We have 4 1/2 hours before we're suppose to meet at the bar. We know what she looks like but she doesn't know us so we can watch her for a little bit before making our presence known. We definitely need more information though.

"Before we go to the bar to meet up with her, I want to know as much as we can about that Internment Camp."

"Still working on it," Vincent says without looking up from his laptop.

"It's a good bet that she won't want to leave without the family. We need to see if that will even be a feasible option. Are the family unit kept together or split up since there are children? We need answers and some of those answers we might not be able to get unless we go and 'socialize'."

"Before we do THAT however, I want everybody on the same page for the transit routes. We'll pick the main route to go to the meet and then which routes for secondary and tertiary."

"It's covered," Lakir states with certainty.

"Be careful with that security grid and using their security camera. What kind of area is it? What about patrons?"

Vincent looks up, "What do you mean? Like slums? I didn't stay long enough to figure that out. I confirmed what the area was and got out before I anyone on the network got suspicious. No sense letting them know we got in before we actually need to use the cameras."

That's not a problem Vincent. Just wondered if you had seen anything. We'll find out when we get there at the bar. If it's the normal bar there will be a variety of patrons there anyway. It probably wouldn't hurt for one or two of you to get there first and scout the place out."

Shiraamer changes the subject, "I haven't picked up any cargo yet but I've looked through the prospects and can fill the cargo hold with items for Akkunat and Shishaldin. We could deal with other pirates (bureaucrats) on the return trip, assuming we make it that far, instead of the current ones we KNOW are raiding our last route. Perhaps if we go deeper into Vilani territory on the return trip they won't be expecting it."

Lakir nods, "You may want to make sure we're ready, complete with cargo loaded, prior to our meet. We may also want a strike plan on that internment camp, before the meet, incase she don't want to leave without the rest of her family. That and the prelim surviel will take at least a day."

"As for having cargo already loaded. That is a good idea but with a drawback. If I sign up for the cargo now, that might put a deadline on when we have to leave. I'll look more carefully at when they say they need to have the cargo delivered by. I'd prefer to have more conclusion plans done for the rescue mission before finalizing the cargo. We'll get the cargo loaded before we try and complete the rescue though."

Vincent disagrees, "Why are we worrying about cargo at all? You said it yourself that we may have to deliver the cargo before we've had a chance to get Oda out of here. And if we get into a firefight on the way out, we're gonna get sued for damaged cargo, whether or not we escape."

Shiraamer dismisses his concerns, "After this meeting, I'll be checking out the specifics on our cargo. No need for you guys to worry about that."

Vincent frowns, but doesn't say anything. He goes back to work on his laptop.

Shiraamer turns to Lakir, "Did I hear that you dug up the list of what weapons are legal here? Let's take a look at that. We're going to need to restock supplies either for a rescue mission or for defense on a get away."

"It's in the email brief I sent you," Lakir replies.

Shiraamer turns to the email. She gets an "oops" look on her face before going back to read about the weapons. "Ah, there it is. I must not have enough Kaff in me since I missed it the first time." She smiles and reads. "I want to get some weapons to replace what we lost to those pirates. Will need to plan on that also."

She commences to read the following:

The following weapon types are prohibited: All explosives, energy weapons, machine guns, and automatic rifles and shotguns. The following weapon types are permitted: Edged weapons, slug firing handguns, non-repeating shotguns, single shot and semi-automatic rifles, and light assault weapons. These weapons may only be used for self-defense. If a crime is committed with a weapon, the penalties range from heavy fines, incarceration, exile to work camp, and death, depending upon the severity of the crime committed.

Shiraamer looks away from her terminal and asks, "Ok, anything else that you can think of at this point?"

"I think you may want to brief the rest of the crew in, Capn' and don't feel pressured by that," he checks his watch, "4 1/4 hour timeline. We're here, but she don't know it."

Shiraamer nods, "I'll brief the rest of the crew. I realize that the 4 1/4 hour timeline is just an estimation. If she is only coming into town to report once a week, even a Vilani week, we should be there to see how she acts and observe her for a bit."

Lakir suggests that Vlad is the most suited to plan and lead the recovery operation at the internment camp, if it goes down that way, based on his background.

He adds that he and Chuck would be most suited to the surveillance operation, based on their respective skill sets, with the contact with Oda, at the captain's discretion. He strongly advocates a meet at other than the bar location. This whole operation now has a fairly deadly smell to him.

Shiraamer replies, "I agree that we need to move the meeting to another location after we make the contact. We might be limited to where we can go if they are watching her or following her. Let's get the crew together and have our planning strategy. Gvarokh went off duty about four hours ago and is getting some shut eye. I'll be meeting with him later to brief him on a couple of other things when he gets up anyway."

"Found it!" Vincent exults.

Lakir and Shiraamer look at him to explain further.

"I found the Internment Camp. It's on the planet's surface on an island. I've got the coordinates."

Lakir asks, "Are you able to get any other info on the camp? Size of guard contingent, layout, re-supply dates, approach procedures via air/ground, prisoner routine, etc; Essentially anything that might give us more info on the camp, without attracting any undue attention in the 'net."

"It's in a different location netwise," Vincent replies. "This part of the MIA network just contains information on where it is. All of the camp info is on another network. I'll see if I can get in."

Vincent frowns as his fingers fly over the keyboard. "It's not letting me in." He makes several other attempts. "Sorry. Can't hack this one."

Shiraamer nods. "That's ok Vincent. You got a lot of good information for us to contemplate. Time to call the crew meeting and get everybody on the same page guys. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I'll see you at the meeting in about 30 minutes."

Lakir and Vincent leave the bridge and head into the crew lounge.

After the guys leave, Shiraamer sends out the announcement that there will be a crew meeting in 30 minutes to update everybody on the latest information. She gives Gvarokh the option of getting more sleep and she'll brief him later, but he declines and says that he'll be there.

Next: Afternoon Meeting