Ghost in the Machine - CIC, Prologue Part 1
Ghost in the Machine - CIC, Prologue Part 1
Summary: Praxis reports a disturbing discovery to Sheridan. The ship goes to Condition Two while preliminary investigations take place.
Date: PHD #93
Related Logs: None

CIC - Deck 2 - CEC Kharon
IC Time: Post Holocaust Day #93 OOC Time: Tue Jul 21 11:36:53 2009

Bathed in dark blue light, this warfighting nerve center is a room that might more closely resemble a cave but for the illuminated displays and activity,
creating an effect that detracts from the claustrophobic feelings it could impose when fully lit. Situated with all the major displays at the front of the room, crew
members sit at work stations facing that wall as if an audience to a performance. Liquid crystal screens track everything from DRADIS contacts to the fuel status of
airborne Vipers and Raptors. Off to the side, smaller screens hang from the low ceiling that provide video footage of the Flight Deck and Hangar Bay One's Viper Tube
airlock doors.
To the rear of the room is the primary plotting table - the only white-lit object in constant operation within the room. Its pale illumination is just bright
enough to back-light the maps that are lain out on it. A separate DRADIS display is placed at the rear of the room to provide the Officer of the Watch with a view of
the tactical situation no matter which way they are facing. A set of yellow-lit glass plots are stood vertically to the side of the room, allowing the historical
view of anything that might be tracked via sensors.

Condition Level: 3 - All Clear

Were it a regular day, Demitros would be found performing his watch duties just as he has been since he was assigned here. Standing in front of DRADIS displays with
his hands folded behind his back. Making sure all of the cards on the plotting table were neat and tidy. He was Command's representative, what better man to keep
things in better shape than a Lieutenant who liked to conduct himself all prim and proper-like? However, today is not a normal day. The TACCO can be found tinkering
with his console in between his regular duties, running diagnostics and checking the wiring beneath the panels. He hasn't been able to recreate the circumstances of
the other day's system hiccup…and that only worries him further.

CIC's never a quiet place aboard the ship. No matter the time of day, it's almost always humming with activity; the ship's eyes and ears never sleep. A few hands go
up in salute, and a few boots thump together as the Commander makes his way onto the deck, accompanied by a petty officer with a bundle of folders under one arm.
Sheridan nods distractedly to the greetings, and continues on through toward the planning table. "Problem, Demitros?" he asks in passing.

Praxis is afflicted by a sudden jolt. I mean, who wouldn't be when you've just heard the voice of God behind you catching you off guard? Subsequent to the
convulsion, the Lieutenant whips around and offers a formal salute, however necessary or unnecessary it was. "Sir." he states as soon as his full composure is
regained. "Yes, unfortunately there is, sir. Take a look at this log." From the console counter, Prax retrieves a clipboard that had been sitting there for a while
and marches towards the plotting table, swinging around alongside Sheridan and placing the item down on the surface where both of them can read at the same time.
"During the Scorpia mission, approximately twenty minutes post-jump I experienced an anomaly with the computer system. If you'll consult the log here…" Praxis'
index finger hovers over a particular entry at a particular time, "…you will see that the system experienced a complete power loss for a few moments before
restarting. Now of course, suspecting a technical problem I ran several diagnostics." Finally, he gets to the point, Lieutenant Demitros standing up straight and
interlacing his fingers behind his back, eyes falling upon Sheridan. "I have reason to believe that the power loss was caused not by a random system failure, but by
an unknown third party, whether it be a rogue program or something else."

Sheridan leans over slightly as Praxis comes to the brightly-lit table. His hands rest on the edges of it, leathered skin pulled loosely over thick veins. The contents of
the clipboard are studied in silence while he listens to the TACCO speak. "And this has been the only anomaly you're aware of?" An Ensign behind them clears her throat
lightly. "Actually, sir, I.. I noticed something strange on DRADIS last night, too. It was late, I thought maybe it was my imagination, sir.." Sheridan pivots slightly to
glance at the young woman. "Our viper CAP's transponders stopped reading as Colonial, sir."

Praxis snaps his head towards the Ensign's station with an incredulous look upon his features. Here he was trying to get to the bottom of something small before it
became big and no one bothered to report anything peculiar even if they did just think they were hallucinating. "Sir, until the Ensign mentioned it just now, I was
only aware of my particular situation. But if what she says is true and actually did take place, I believe our problem is becoming much worse." The Lieutenant peers
over at the DRADIS, moving towards it to get a better view. "Getting false readings is a /serious/ problem…at the worst I speculate we'll be seeing things that are
not there, or worse, not seeing things that in fact, do exist."

Praxis clears his throat and carefully adds, "Not to mention issues with the transponders…what if we cannot identify friend from foe?" Part of his job is assuming
the worst-case scenario..

"Agreed," the Commander murmurs, sifting briefly through the pages of Praxis' clipboard. "I want a full diagnostic run on all critical systems." He heads toward the
main console, and turns a key before reaching for the nearest wireless. "You are also not to leave your station, Demitros, until I personally relieve you."
[Intercom] Sheridan says, "Captain Eos and Lieutenant Tanner to CIC. Pass the word. Captain Eos and Lieutenant Tanner, report immediately to CIC."
<Intercom> Attention! Set Condition Two throughout the ship.

Sen arrives from the Hallway - Deck 2, Fore.
Sen has arrived.
Persy arrives from the Hallway - Deck 2, Fore.
Persy has arrived.

Lt. JG Tanner comes double-timing it into the CIC, a bit out of breath. She snaps a salute. "Lieutenant Junior Grade Tanner reporting, Sirs."
Currently, the CIC is occupied by its regular crew manning their stations. The ship had just gone to Condition Two as ordered by the CO. Praxis and Sheridan
are at the plotting table conversing, by the look on the Lieutenant's expression it is about something rather serious in nature, the condition change would also hint
at that.

"Aye, sir." Praxis acknowledges, nodding once as he's ordered to not leave his post until Sheridan comes to get him. "Sir, if I may add…I figure it would
be naive to assume the DRADIS and the other critical systems are the only thing afflicted by whatever is tampering with our systems. In my experience, these
anomalies tend to show themselves in the most strange of places; even if it is just a tactic to throw us off. Not only should diagnostics be run, but perhaps extra
vigilance is required even for the most minor of issues."

Sheridan has returned the wireless to its cradle, and is just bracing his hands on the edge of the plotting table again, by the time Persy comes trotting in. He
turns, nods slightly to her, and beckons her closer while listening to Praxis. "I agree," he murmurs. "I smell a rat. Lieutenant Tanner, have you noticed anything
out of the ordinary, on any of your recent shifts? Strange readings, power fluctuations, anything?"

Sen steps into CIC, crisply dressed in her blues. Seems the ChEng alternates her days between being nose deep in the engines and nose deep in the paperwork, and that
Commander has caught her in the latter today. She pauses inside the hatch, then is directed over to where Sheridan is. Sen's not as over-eager as the young Jig is,
and so she draws up a few moments behind. Spine straightens, and a salute is brought up smoothly. "Captain Eos, as you requested, sir."

Hearing the words 'afflicted systems' Persy moves quickly to her post, running a diagnostic to discover what's been compromised and to what extent. She
glances up at the Dradis. "How the frak did they get in?" she murmurs, looking back down at her display. "No, sir," she replies, absently, fingers flying over the
keyboard. "I—" She frowns. Blinks. Then shakes her head. "There was an Ensign. Brighton, I think. He was hanging around last night, acting a little… sketchy, I
guess. But I just chalked it up to the pressure we've all been under."

Finished with the conversation for the moment, Praxis regards both of the new arrivals with a bit of a brief nod. The greeting may have been longer if the TACCO had
any less work to do, however he needed to get starte on running system diagnostics immediately. Moving to one station, he places his hand on a Jig's shoulder and
murmurs something to him before moving to his own station, madly typing away at the keys. "Beginning a full system diagnostic." he reports to no one in particular,
until he hears the name 'Brighton' over his shoulder. "A suspect? He could have not gone too far."

"Let's not start jumping to conclusions," Sheridan points out, scowling. Because that's pretty much his default state. "Tanner, place a call to the MPs. Have
Brighton detained until I can have a word with him. Captain Eos," He nods toward the ChEng. "I want a crew taking a closer look at those software downgrades you did
a few weeks ago. And any reports of systems malfunctions collated and brought to me."
Sen lowers her hands to parade rest, clamping one wrist with her opposing hand behind her back. Her stance widens as she's addressed, and her eyes follow Persy
absently before returning to Sheridan. "With all haste, sir. In addition, we had a theft in engineering, where sensitive material was stolen out of a secure locker.
The incident was reported to the MPs and I have since installed a security camera on the classified area."

Persy nods at Praxis. "Maybe you'll have more luck. My diagnostic came up—just garbled frakking nonsense. Whatever's been done to us, they don't want us to
track it down easily."
She grabs a headset and wedges it between her head and shoulder. "Aye, sir." A moment later, "This is Lieutenant Junior Grade Tanner relaying a directive
from Commander Sheridan. Ensign Brighton is to be detained immediately for questioning. Further orders will be communicated at the Commander's leisure." As she
speaks, her eyes are still zipping across her terminal, fingers clicking away like frantic insects.

At Sen's mention at the theft in Engineering, Praxis frowns. Ship security is one of his primary concerns, and that definitely is quite a breach of it. "The
sensitive material in question is still missing?" Demitros asks while the diagnostic is running, the flickering light of the monitor almost hypnotizing the man
before Persy speaks. "Just keep at it, Lieutenant JG. There is something in there, I am certain of i-" Knight is interrupted by the result that comes up in one of
his diag reports, fingers raising up to scratch at his head. "Commander." He asks for Sheridan's attention. "I have been able to locate no rogue programming, however
this console seems to have received a command issued from within the system to reboot. The problem is, I cannot find whoever or whatever is pressing the buttons, it
is not unlike a ghost in the machine."

Sheridan's attention snaps to Sen, when she mentions the theft. He watches, listens, then nods slowly when she's finished explaining. "You should have brought it to
me immediately, Captain. I want it found." He doesn't specify what the 'sensitive material' is, but it's likely one of those need to know things. "You've got the
full cooperation of the marines. I'll have a word with McTiernan." Whatever that means. He turns back to Praxis then, teeth gritting slightly as the man speaks.
"Whatever or whoever the frak it is, we're going to exorcise it." Pushing away from the planning table, he starts for the door. "I'm going to see if my XO has
anything else. Report back to me, Lieutenants, the instant you find something."

One of the communications officers stands from their seat, holding out a receiver. "Sorry to interrupt, but a call's been routed through for you, Captain Eos." Sen
bows a bit at her waist, respectfully. "My apologies, I assumed the Master of Arms would have sent up the report. Excuse me." Sen steps over to take the call.

"Frak me," Persy mutters, shaking her head at her screen and taking a deep breath. She pinches the bridge of her nose a moment. Okay. Breathe. Nothing's
exploding—yet. Don't panic. "Yes, sir," she affirms to Praxis, taking it a little slower now. Still with urgency, but not breakneck. No more mistakes. She hopes.
She nods smartly to the Commander's directive. "Yes, sir. You'll be the first to know."

Praxis acknowledges the order from Sheridan that he makes on his way out, Demitros heading over to Persy's station to see how things are going on her end
and to see if she requires any assistance from the tactical officer. "I believe too many of our personnel have been making 'assumptions' lately." he murmurs to
Tanner. "That people are seeing things because they're tired. That they look shifty under pressure. That the MOA would send a report…" A sigh is expelled from the
Lieutenants lips. "I have a strong feeling that we are going to have to be extra sure of things if we're going to get through this one, no?" There is of course no
censure in his voice, just merely observation.

"If I had to report every crewmember who looked sketchy under pressure, the whole ship would be a brig, Sir," the JiG replies, raking a hand through her
pixie mussed hair. She's checking each system for points of penetration, tracing the damage backward, methodically.

Sheridan doesn't stop to acknowledge Sen, or either of the Lieutenants. He, of course, has work to do. Which pretty much goes for all of them. He steps out briskly,

vanishing form half-lit by the flashing yellow lights of condition two.

Sheridan heads through the exit labeled <H> Hallway.
Sheridan has left.

Praxis pauses for a moment to listen to Persy, smirking and nodding his head. "You have a point, of course." he mentions before moving from her station. Now that the
CO is gone, the Lieutenant resumes his watch duty. "This is Lieutenant Praxis Demitros, I now have the deck." he announces formally before he oversees and
participates in the search for the mysterious ghost in the machine.

Putting her nose to the proverbial grindstone, Lt. JG Tanner continues running every diagnostic tool she can think of, then programming new ones in response
to the viral patterns she sees. She settles in for a long shift, but throughout the following sixteen hours, her work is unflagging—her attention rapt.

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