Break Down: Lost in Cyberia - Part IV
|- GMF Athena - Mon Apr 18 09:09:19 3005|
|Tucked beneath and around the ship's spinal corridor, the wardroom serves both as workroom and general quarters for the ship's crew. Port and starboard rise the sleeping facilities, a set of double bunks running the length of the space. Each bunk has a set of built in cabinets and lockers for storing personal effects. The middle of the room is ample, sized to fit and brief the entire crew if necessary. A central conference table dominates the space, its long dimension running from fore to aft. Spartan steel chairs ring the table, designed for utility instead of comfort. The forward wall has a large display screen, above which are ranked a battery of supplementary monitors. Aft is a compact galley, along with a cluster of smaller tables for eating and general conversation.|
|A series of shielded sconces provide flexible lighting, allowing sections of the room to be darkened, letting some crew sleep while others continue their work. A gangway leads up to the ship's main corridor, while forward a paneled door leads to the Captain's private stateroom.|
|Next to the stateroom entrance there is a slightly off color piece of metal bulkhead which appears to have been riveted onto the existing ship's bulkhead. It is inscribed with the names "Bernard Hitchcock" "Colin Marshall" and "David Ransom Porter". The last appears twice, the first occurrence appears to have been etched out before being re-inscribed at the end of the list.|
Mazzonnoz waits near the whiteboard, marker in hand. He checks his watch. "Is everyone here?"
Kastaprulyi slips in from the hallway with an air of anticipation, and smoothly accelerates to the side of the table. Kas offers Mazzonnoz a feeling of greeting as it nears.
Newt plants his bum in a seat, "I still reckon we shouldn't've paid em."
Mazzonnoz shakes his head. "We had the money. Better do that than make waves. Now. After our debauchery at the government headquarters, I did some digging." Noz writes two names on the board: "NICHOLAS BLUME" and "PROF. RAPSCIK." "These," he explains, "are the next subjects of our research." Beneath each name he writes addresses, contact information.
Kastaprulyi comes to float alongside Newt. The little Centauran remains quietly listening for the moment.
Newt hrmphs, "Still sucks." But then he looks over at the names, "Who're they?"
Kastaprulyi floats at the conference table next to Newt, watching Mazzonnoz write a pair of names on the whiteboard screen.
"True, Newt, but you're not the one who paid. Nicholas Blume went through a program similar to one Jordan underwent in a hospital here. Like Jordan, the hospital has no record of where he came from and took minimal records of what happened during his stay. He went through the program some time before Jordan. The difference is, he died and she didn't. One or a team of us will contact his parents and, in roundabout fashion, ascertain more about what it is Jordan was into before leaving the planet and joining our crew. It will tell us more about where she might presently be. The other man is Professor Rapscik, a specialist in nanotechnology at the local university. A team of us will inquire as to his specialties and the nature of his research, especially what he was doing around four years ago in conjunction with the hospital." He looks chiefly at Kas, then to the others. "Jordan's name is NOT to be mentioned under any circumstances, nor is the hospital program to be alluded to. Think of it as a passive sensor scan. We do not want to make people aware of what it is we are looking for until we know exactly what it is and can anticipate problems and enemies that will arise from our more active search. Questions?"
Volidana walks into the wardroom looking about, quickly finding a seat
Kastaprulyi suggests acknowledgment to Mazzonnoz, then asks curiously, "Why guess people'd mind talking with us about the hospital stuff?" Kas offers Volidana a feeling of greeting as she arrives.
"Because this hospital takes records with an abandon completely unsuited to any legitimate hospital, and no place not entirely on the up and up likes it when people put their noses into the illicit end of their business. As foreigners, we'd be an easy mark to get rubbed out for our transgression if, indeed, this is more than just lax record-keeping. So do as I say. Anything else?"
Volidana hms "what she we tell Jordan's folks?"
"Nothing, because we're not going to talk to them yet," Noz says. "I'm not entirely sure they're actually fully aware of her decision to leave the planet and join a ship crew in the first place. Furthermore, I highly doubt they are on her list of people to go to in a pinch."
Newt asks, with a wee stutter, "Did that doctor do something to Jord?"
"Four years ago, yes. But whatever he did, succeeded. If he did something to her in the recent past or not is uncertain; I doubt it. My hypothesis is that Jordan returned here because she was under duress, and either hasn't recovered or ran into an old foe and still needs help. He sounds like just another University professor and doctor, but that's what we want to check on."
Kastaprulyi suggests some uncertainty at Noz' assessment of the hospital. "Do you guess those people'd work with a place they knew was doing stuff against the law?"
Mazzonnoz arches an eyebrow. "Which people, Kas?"
"The people Nicholas Blume, Professor Rapscik," Kas explains.
Mazzonnoz shakes his head. "Nicholas Blume was a subject, a research subject of some kind, I think. I highly doubt he had much say in his fate," Noz replies. "As for the Professor, his exact relationship remains to be determined, but I know he was directly involved in Jordan's and most likely Blume's cases. We will be contacting Blume's parents as if we are looking for him on behalf of a friend, and ourselves have no knowledge of Mr. Blume - and will, in the process, learn about his fate from his parents."
Newt's just staring at a point on the table, frowning and brooding quietly.
Kastaprulyi floats beside Newt with an inquisitive but somewhat uncertain air. "Did Jordan, Captain Ranix tell you about them, about the hospital?" Kas inquires thoughtfully.
Eucharius steps into wardroom, glancing around and starting for the table.
"No. I gained this information recently, on my own, but I am absolutely assured it is correct."
Noz lifts his chin as Eucharius enters. "Hello there. Where have you been?" He asks, casually.
Newt doesn't respond to Kas, just keeps on brooding.
Volidana blinks "we're going to inquire after their dead son. Isn't that a bit cruel"
"Here and there," Eucharius answers. "Here, lately. I saw Jordan a few days ago."
Mazzonnoz meets Dana's eyes. "You'd rather I not pursue a course of information that could very well get us Jordan back?" He asks, without remorse, then blinks at Euch. "Well. Where is she?"
Kastaprulyi offers Eucharius a feeling of greeting and listens intently.
Volidana turns toward Eucharius with a bright yellow flicker. "she's alright then?
"About a week ago, she was watching the military base; I said hello, we went to the apartment she was renting. She's here to steal another datajack, if you hadn't already guessed," Eucharius says, moving forward and pulling two objects from his pockets. One is a dart, by appearances designed to be fired from something; the other is a small wooden box with no apparent opening mechanism. "I called the next day, and she didn't answer. The dart was outside; the box was inside. She'd mentioned that getting into the places she needed to get was the easy part, and getting out would be the part she would worry about, because they wanted her. I poked around the hospital, and to the extent that I could, the military base for a few days, and then came to the aerospace center to see if I could pull a departure list. Then I saw the Athena, and here I am."
"Neither the hospital nor the constabulary has a record of Jordan's presence," Noz says. "I figured she was here hunting something, but I didn't know it was a datajack." The Timonae frowns. "Do you know what either of those objects are?" He asks, directly. "I hadn't even considered the military as a factor here. But, what's another database to crack ..."
Kastaprulyi shifts to more a feeling of puzzled concern at this new information. "Why'd you look around the hospital?" Kas queries.
Eucharius glances at Kas. "That was somewhere else she'd mentioned. The dart's a variety that's often fired from airguns to deliver poisons, tranquilizers, and so on. I don't know about the box."
Volidana peers "why was getting another Datajack important enough to risk her life. Is she sick without one"
"Could you tell if it had been used?" Noz asks, brows knitted in thought. TO Dana, he nods. "Not having a datajack was making Jordan flip out on a major scale. Now that Eucharius mentions it, it doesn't surprise me in the least.
"Maybe we can put the dart, box in the medical scanner," Kas observes helpfully.
Eucharius nods in agreement with Noz, and picks up the dart again. "It's empty, and I can't think of any reason why it would be sitting by Jordan's door without being used." He glances at Kas. "Which would confirm, at least, whether or not the dart has been used."
Mazzonnoz adds, "And on whom."
Volidana blinks 'How on whom?"
"Do you guess leaving the dart by the door without saying anything'd be a way of communicating?" Kas adds thoughtfully.
"Biologicals on the tip," Eucharius tells Dana. Rubbing his chin, he considers the Centauran's question. "Maybe. Again, it depends on if it's been used, and what was in it."
Mazzonnoz frowns at Dana. "If the dart hit Jordan, it would have her genetic material on it - hair, skin cells. I thought you were a scientist, Dana," Noz explains. He tucks his hand in his pocket and shrugs. "Well, have at, then - run what tests and scans you can on the materials you've got." Noz frowns. "Pow-wow and let me know what your conclusions are. While you do that, I think I'll go to a nice coffee shop I found the other day and do a little ... deliberation."
Volidana shrugs "Historian not medical science"
Kastaprulyi seems to consider quietly for a moment. "Did we already find out the stuff about Nicholas Blume, Professor Rapscik that's on the Network?" Kas inquires.
"About Mr. Rapscik, yes. Mr. Blume was a private citizen and I would prefer to accomplish our data gathering on him in person, however, this seems to me to be leads that aren't as important as Jordan's more recent history."
Kastaprulyi observes, "I guess Jordan left changes on the Network than people usually leave, because of the datajack. I can still try looking up stuff that might be Jordan's."
Volidana hms 'Have we any idea if she accomplished getting the jack before whatever happened?
Mazzonnoz shakes his head. "I don't, but I doubt she did."
"She did say that getting to it would be the easy part," Eucharius comments.
"Should I go get a computer for searching now?" Kas asks uncertainly.
"What is it that you want to look for, Kas?" Noz asks. "I already searched the hospital and Waldheim police databanks. Neither of them have Jordan's name or face anywhere."
Kastaprulyi explains, after replying to the news with a feeling of puzzlement, "We could look for stuff Jordan wrote for socializing, for fun, for work, for learning."
Volidana hms "I think he means our ship's databanks. He wants us to find out if Jordan kept a Jordan like I do, only on the computer and read it, I think" she offers with a flash of purple
Eucharius listens to the deliberations for a few moments longer. "I don't see any need for me specifically at the moment, so," he says, "since I haven't slept more than eight hours in the last seventy-two, I think I'll do a little bit of catching up."
Kastaprulyi agrees, "The ship's computer, the Network both." Kas suggests a feeling of farewell to Eucharius and says, "Rest well..."
Mazzonnoz nods. "By all means. Rest up," he says to Euch. "All right, Kas. Do it, then."
Eucharius moves for his bunk, settles down on it, and falls asleep almost instantly.
Kastaprulyi slips quickie over in the direction of the bunks and (with a couple attempts) tugs open its locker.
Kastaprulyi fishes out a datapad and closes the locker, drifting back to the table with it. "What's a file where Jordan wrote the most stuff about the same thing?" Kas asks thoughtfully.
Mazzonnoz blinks. "Huh? You're asking me?" Noz shakes his head. "I don't know. I never read her journal."
"I guess I can look for stuff with Jordan's name on it first," Kas comments, poking at the datapad with the end of one arm to activate it. The little Centauran explains, waving the resulting holographic cloud of Tataskra around, "Knowing how Jordan writes better'd help with finding stuff that doesn't have a name on it."
"The problem is, what we're looking for is traces of Jordan, not things that Jordan has written. I doubt she's been able to write much. Although ..." Noz shrugs, collecting his things. "Maybe she got in touch with elements of the underworld here, if she was attempting to break in to a military base. It's possible. Let me know what you find."
Kastaprulyi , after Mazzonnoz departs, sets its datapad down on the edge of the table to continue working. The little Centauran pokes at and wiggles the holographic tangles of script into various structures hanging above the computer screen.