Star Trek: Genesis of Command, Chapter 2

Chapter 2
Cell Structure
Not surprisingly, Marek materialized in a cell.  Four armed security were there.  A klingon was among them.  He faintly recognized him.  Not that it mattered.
The security team left.  The klingon did not bother to look back.  He would not give the human the pleasure.
Marek pulled himself up.  He was now in a clean, white, loose fitting smock.  He looked for a mirror, but found none.  It was not until now that he cared about what he looked like.
He touched the holes on his face.  He felt the beard, then simply forgot his wounds.  He ran his fingers over the beard.  He pulled it, estimating it was four and a half centimeters.  His hand went to his head.
He was almost shocked to find he had long hair.  Long for a Marine, that is.  Almost six centimeters.  The back of his neck was thick with hair.
“Oh, no.”
The commander walked in.  He stood in front of the cell, looking at Marek.  Marek forgot his hair and stared back.  The pair looked at one another in silence.
The commander began to say, “I don’t know how …”
“You look like A1.”  Marek spoke softly, but filled the room.  Even the distortion from the force field could not squelch his authority.  He was the commander in this conversation.  It was unearthly.
The commander looked Marek in the eyes, then lowered his stare.  He looked up again, not wanting to lock eyes with his prisoner. “His son died, just before you came aboard.  I thought he had gone senile.  He told me about you.”  He looked at Marek, for a second or two.  He looked at the wall.  ‘I am … A1 … great-grandson.”
Marek took a few steps toward the commander.
“If … you are who … my grandpa thinks …, thought, you are, then …,” he looked at Marek, “I have to thank you for my being here.”
Marek stepped as close as he could.  “Then let me out.”
The commander shook his head.  “I can’t do that.”
Marek put his hands to the force barrier.  His hands lit up, against the energy.  He looked just short of frantic.  ‘If the authorities get me, I’m dead!”
“You’re not dead.”  Commander John Walker looked the prisoner in the eye.  “This is the Federation, not some backward, unsophisticated culture.  We don’t kill people, especially our own.”
“Do you KNOW what they DID to ME!?!”  Marek shook, trying to restrain his anger.  Or was it fear?
John micro-leapt back.  He remained calm, but he was terrified inside.  ”You are only going to be detained long enough to determine what should be done with you.”
Marek put his hands down.  His face went blank, completely expressionless.  He stepped backward, staring at Commander Walker the entire time.
‘”Go away.”
Commander Walker stiffened.  Slowly, he turned and walked away.
Finding some spirit, Walker ask, “Did you just tell me …?”
“Go — away.”
Marek’s mouth never moved.
Walker stared at the hair Marine.  Then, quietly, he walked out of the brig.
Marek turned to the closest wall.  He placed an open hand against it, and his expression changed.  Not to a feeling of hopelessness.  He went into deep thought.
Something was happening inside him that he did not understand.  He could feel the ship.  The computer, which was not alive, could be … felt.  Thinking.  No soul, but definite thought.  And there was a kinship.
A lone guard entered the brig.  “Stop moping.”
‘He must think I am destitute.’
“We’ll take good care of you.  The Starfleet won’t mistreat you.  You probably heard some nasty rumors spread by the Dominion, or something.”
‘Not a threat.  Probably sympathetic.  But too stupid to use.’
Computer lock.  “’Hello.’”
The guard stopped patrolling.  “What?”
‘Great.  I thought too loud.  What next?’  “I said, …”  ‘What?’  “I said … hello.”  ‘Sounds good.’  “I haven’t felt myself for … quite a while.”
The guard seemed mollified.  “Don’t I know it.  If I heard it right, you were kidnapped a few years ago.  You can expect to be debriefed, then re-educated.  Should only be a few weeks.”
Central programs accessed.
“I believe you are mistaken, Mr. Ridley.  But I thank you for your encouragement.”
The guard had passed from earshot, checking the rest of the brig.  “What?  I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
‘Thank you for the warning.’
–Long-range scanners have picked up a small vessel.  A nebula pathfinder, named Dahlquist.  It has a crew capacity of twenty-six.  Currently crew compliment is seven:  four command, two engineers, and one specialist.  The Morass will pass just beyond transporter range.- –
‘What are the chances of extreme beam out?’
–None.- –
‘How could I beam from this ship to the Dahlquist?
–Two possibilities exist.  First, move me close to Dahlquist.  Second, couple my transporter with that of Dahlquist.- –
‘Perfect.’  Marek did not have much time, but he had enough.  He could see the controls that worked the Morass transporter.  If the Dahlquist had a similar system, he should be able to access that, too.  He had less than thirty minutes.  But he was not living in the physical world; Marek was in the computer world.  Each thought moved at the speed of light.  These were the fastest computers the Federation had to offer.
The calculations took very little time.  It was done, checked, and rechecked in less than a minute, with a margin of error.
Now for the hard part.  Without a physical link, he needed to disable the Morass, just after transport, without being detected.  Accessing the computer was easy.  Asking a question was easy.  Ten thousand legitimate interactions take place in every work cycle.  But this was technology only thought up when Marek was a child.  Some had yet to be thought up.  He had no idea how to understand it, much less control it.
The computer told him it had a warp core.  Without it, there could be no pursuit.  But that did not mean other ships could not be sent.
‘Computer, suppress the sensor information on the Dahlquist.  Erase all information of the existence of that ship.’
–Information has been erased.  Sensors have been disrupted by an automatic diagnostic.  Sensors shall come back on line in two minutes.- –
‘Great.  In two minutes I have to hide an entire ship, using technology I don’t understand.’  The most advanced technology he had been exposed to was now outdated, by generations.  He thought of using constants; then rejected it; constants are what you try to overcome.  He had to come up with an original idea.  And he had less than one minute, fifty-eight seconds.
‘Can you send all incoming information on Dahlquist to an unmanned, remote station?  Without detection?
–Negative.- –
Hmm.  ‘Has basic sensor technology remained constant for the last century?’
–Affirmative.- –
‘Can the sensors be taken offline, past sensor readings be displayed, then return at a later time?
–Affirmative.- –
‘Without detection?’
–Negative.- –
‘Access all psychological files of personnel scheduled to monitor sensors for the next hour.  What is the highest estimation of detection?’
–… 6.80311582% – –
‘Good enough.  Can the main sensor be down without indication?’
–Affirmative.  The chief engineer has completed sensor testing, and is not scheduled to do so again for three days, ten hours.- –
‘Bring up the most recent sensor readings for this section of space.  When done, take the sensors offline and display the past readings as current.’
–Done.  Sensors offline.  Past readings are being fed to all stations.- –
‘Wow.  Fast.’
–Automatic diagnostic will be completed in forty-five seconds.- –
Marek pulled his hand away from the wall, breaking his connection with the computer.  He was not certain what had just happened was real, or if he was still dreaming in the klingon station.  Humans can not “talk” to computers by touching a wall.
A chirping sound.  “Sickbay.  This is brig security, Lieutenant Ridley.”
“This is Doctor Fargus.  Go ahead, Lieutenant.”
“Sir, I think it is a good idea to …”
Marek casually turned around.
“… send someone down to check on him.”
Marek smiled.  “Check on who? And when did you get back?  You only left a second ago.”
“Sickbay, standby.  Why didn’t you respond to me before?”  The guard was very serious by now; robot like.
Marek’s smile faded.  “They didn’t tell you?  I’m … I’m deaf.  My (think of something) audio implants must have … failed during the cryogenics.  I don’t really ‘listen’ to other people when that happens.  I can … read lips.”
The guard studied Marek.  Doctor Fargus said, “I heard what the guard said, Lieutenant.  Ask him if he wants me to correct his hearing now, or when I give him a physical, would you?”
Marek almost answered.
“Sickbay wants to (he was talking slower, now) know if you want to have your au-di-o implants (and louder) fix – – (‘I wonder if he could make out that word?’) re-paired?  Or can you wait?”
‘Simpleton.’  He could not resist.  Loudly, Marek said back, “Tell — Him — I — Can – Wait!  Thank – You – For – Un – Der – Stand – Ing!”
Ridley seemed confused.
Fargus cleared his throat.  “Eh, Lieutenant, the man is deaf, not stupid.  Go about your business.  I’ll schedule something for tomorrow.”
The chirping sound again.
Ridley finished studying Marek.  He smiled.  ‘So, everyone is worried about some deaf and dumb guy, hunh?’
Marek smiled dumbly.  He was not sure if Ridley had actually spoken those words.  It was safer not to respond.
“Good night, Mr. Dangerous.”  Ridley left the brig, chuckling.
Under his breath, Marek said, “Goodbye, Mr. Observant.”

The doors closed.  Marek was alone, it seemed.  His hearing was actually more sensitive than it had ever been, and he could hear no other prisoners.  Which would explain why Ridley made his rounds so fast.
Marek’s current problem was how to distract the ship during his beam out.  The sensors were easy.  That required very little power.  He would need a great deal of power for the transporter.  If only he could think of how to mask that, he could be on his way back to reclaiming his life.
A lot of power.  That might be it.  What if, instead of trying to make it look like it never happened, he made the ship focus on something that was more important.  Such as a false report of the warp core imploding?  Followed by several other systems coming online, for no apparent reason?
But he would have to keep his disappearance from being detected, or all was for naught.  There had to be a video feed in the brig, to monitor the prisoners.  And someone transporting out would not look good.
Marek went to the cot on the far wall and laid on it, curling up.  He placed his hand on the wall.
‘Computer.’  The thought raced through the metal, to touch the entire ship.
–Yes?- –
‘Computer, I need to know if there is such a thing as a monitor glitch in current technology.  Can the brig’s monitors be obscured so my current position is hidden from view?’
–And artificial disruption can be created, hiding the current position of your body.- –
Marek smiled, sort of.  “Perfect.”

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