Meanwhile, back aboard the USS Penelope...
After making sure that Security Chief nenothtu hadn't stopped breathing before the medical staff whisked him away to sick bay, the red-haired
sergeant turned back to the security console and read the names of the "formerly" NI personnel aboard Penelope listed there. Activating a comm
channel to the security Desk Sergeant, he spoke. "Desk Sergeant, this is Sergeant James. I'm taking over as acting Security Chief until Chief
nenothtu... sobers up." He didn't want security to discover the seriousness of the situation and become distracted from the work at hand. " I've
got the first name on the list of roundups the captain ordered. Send a six man detachment to berth 17G-542, and I'll meet them there. Send
detachments of not less than six men each to round up the other two. Prepare separate cells in the brig for each one. They are NOT, I repeat NOT under
arrest. They will 'officially' be under detention for questioning, and are to speak with no one but myself or the captain, unless nenothtu rolls his
lazy butt out. James out." With that, Sergeant James headed for berth 17G-542.
Upon his arrival, the sergeant found that the security reinforcements had not yet arrived. Drawing himself up to appear more 'official', he pushed
the door annunciator, and waited. No answer. Finally, hearing several footsteps in the corridor heading towards him, he punched in the security
command override code, and forced the door open. Entering the stateroom, he was greeted by a surprised Horkos just standing up from a comm console at
"How did you get that door open, young fellow? It's supposed to be un-overridable".
"Please come with me, Mr Horkos. The captain has some questions for you" was the only reply. It wasn't in his job description to tell detainees how
he did his job.
"I ASKED YOU A QUESTION, YOUNG MAN!" Horkos thundered, trying to intimidate the sergeant, and demonstrate that HE had the upper hand.
"That would be 'young SERGEANT' to you, sir. Please come with me. The Captain awaits." by now, the security detachment had arrived on the scene,
blocking the doorway. Horkos, seeing escape cut off and intimidation not working, dropped back to plan B. He looked around the room as if searching
for another way out, and then, as if in resignation, actually yawned and stretched, arching his back as if to work out kinks, and reaching both hands
toward his lower back to massage it.
Sergeant James instantly had his sidearm in hand, pointed steadily at the center of Horko's face. "FREEZE WHAT YOU GOT, MISTER!" he barked out,
then added more calmly " If you so much as twitch, your gonna look like a garden sprinkler before I get through."
Horkos's eyes widened ever so slightly, but he didn't twitch. Focusing beyond the sergeant, he was greeted with the sight of 6 more weapon muzzles
leveled on him. "SEARCH HIM" barked the young sergeant to one of the security team. One of them secured his weapon and glided forward. "You know
the drill" he said to Horkos. "Grab some wall - slowly", with which order Horkos complied. "NI will clear this little mess up, and make it
disappear", he thought to himself. Horkos shouldn't have underestimated Penelope's crew, and overestimated the reach of his own bosses. He was a
LONG way from home to be having such naive thoughts.
In mid patdown, the security officer found a small, concealed "Plasma Zapper", of a type associated with NI operatives, at the small of Horkos'
back. Breathing a low whistle, the man said "Lookey what we got, Sarge! I DO believe he meant one of us harm..." and handed the Zapper over to
"How 'bout that." was all the sergeant replied. When the patdown was completed, the security team placed Horkos' hands in cuffs behind his back,
and shackles on his ankles, with a short connective chain between the two. He could, at best, hobble along.
Sergeant James reported in to the Captain. "Sergeant James, acting Security Chief, to Captain Luder. We've got one of your boys, I think. He was
acting sort of shifty, braced up to fire on us, and, when searched, was found to be carrying a NI Issue Plasma Zapper to do the firing with. He's
been thoroughly disarmed, and trussed up like a Christmas Turkey. He's on his way to some special accomodations in the brig now. I'm sealing off his
quarters, pending a more thorough search and investigation, with a Command Security Lockdown code. I recommend you have the comm officer do the same
with the connection to his desk console, as he sent someone a message from it. Probably need to capture the transmission from the ship's Comms Log
too, if that can be done. Sergeant James out."
"Good Job, guys. Take him to the brig, gentlemen. He has a room reserved. No checkout time, I think this one is a VIP guest. Have the other teams
report to me as soon as they have their own detainees secured. I got some more business to take care of." as they all left the stateroom, the
security detail turned left, prisoner in tow, and Sergeant James turned right, toward Sick Bay.
Arriving at Sick bay, Sergeant James entered and inquired into the condition of Chief nenothtu. The attendant said "There really hasn't been any
change. We can't get a handle on what's wrong with him, he just seems to be... out"
"He mentioned something about his 'ticker' just before he collapsed on the bridge. Noted any heart problems?" replied the sergeant.
"No, nothing like that. Matter of fact, his heart seems to have IMPROVED since his last checkup, if anything. That's one of the puzzling aspects.
We've detected unusual brain activity, as if he were awake, and... something else... going on in his brain. We just aren't quite sure what that
'something else' is indicative of. There has been some degree of... cellular regeneration... in his physical body, and there's no known mechanism
that would cause what we've observed in him. All in all, he's in better health than he's ever been, since joining the service. He's... YOUNGER...
is the best way I can put it. He's just unexplainably out, comatose. we can't seem to revive him, in spite of the fact that his condition is
steadily improving. It's puzzling."
"Can I see him?" asked Sergeant James.
"Yes, for a few moments. Don't expect any witty conversation from him, though." was the reply, and the attendant led the young sergeant into a side
Security Chief nenothtu lay on a Sick Bunk, with two transverse beams of light, one red, one green, constantly scanning up and down his body, from
head to toe. A status board at the head of the bunk had constantly updating readouts on his condition. Turning to the medic, the young sergeant said
"Could we have a few moments alone, please?" The medic was prepared for that, he was used to the "clanninshness" that tended to build up amongst
crew members, particularly the ones that worked together on a daily basis, and went through stressful events together. They often behaved as if as
close, or closer, than blood family. He had no way of knowing that this young sergeant had only just been promoted to his position as assistant
"Certainly. I've got some of his test results to go over anyhow. I'll just be at the front desk if you need anything" he said, and took his leave
Once he was sure the attendant was out of earshot, Sergeant James spoke to the inert form of neno in a commanding tone. "Get yer lazy carcass up out
of that bed! There's work to be done, and you're slacking!"
No response from nenothtu.
"Move something, dammit! I need to know you're still in there!"
Still no response. The sergeants comments became plaintive."Do something, neno. Twitch a finger, and eyelid, growl, SOMETHING! Doc says there ain't
no reason for you to be layin' there like that." Nothing.
Sergeant James' tone became exasperated and pleading at once. " Dammit Dad, you gotta get out of this. How in the hell am I ever supposed to make
you proud of me, if you don't even know what I'm doing? GET UP!" The plea was almost a low wail.
ever so slightly, nenothtu's eyelids fluttered, but didn't open. A low whisper issued from his lips. "Shaddup, kid, or yer gonna let everybody
know. Get outta here. I'm Ok now, just tired. Leave me alone so I can get some rest. Get back to yer job." Then he seemed to go slack again.
[edit on 2009/5/23 by nenothtu]