Captain Rowan strides up to a still Duros and lightly hits her aquamarine cheek, calling her name, Soh’Soh. “Stop slapping people,” Tcho admonishes him, interposing himself to check on the patient. Rowan looks around, muttering about water, and then goes over to the impressive captain’s chair, which has a small mini-fridge alongside it. He pulls out one of the bottles of water usually for tour participants. Splashing some of its contents on one of the other bridge crew does not rouse them.
The good news for Soh’Soh is that she is simply unconscious, not wounded in any way. Given the physical indications, Tcho concludes this was done by some sort of gas, rather than blasters set on stun. It makes sense… smuggling a lot of weapons onto the Dame would be harder than whipping up some knockout drugs from what is already onboard—particularly with an FX medical droid on the mutineers’ side. The infirmary would have a lot of useful precursors.
Rowan holds down the comm. “This is the bridge to security. Bridge to security!”
Into the ensuing silence, Tcho says, “It seems like the comms to this whole wing were disrupted.”
The captain sighs. “Yes, but it was worth a try.” He rejoins Tcho. “At least I know I can trust Third Mate Soh’Soh here. Is she going to be okay?”
“Yeah… in time. This is the sort of thing you can sleep off. Or you can chemically counter it, but I certainly don’t have anything like that in my medkit.” I didn’t realize so many people were going to be drugged on this ship! First Kerr-Lonn-Ny, now these folks. Tcho just does not have sufficient resources for treating these things. He leaves Soh’Soh to check on her coworkers, verifying that they are in the same condition. There is not much he can do for any of them, other than untie them and position them more comfortably.
Rowan lets out a long breath, surveying the room. “This is a bit more dire than I thought, not just one rebellious ensign and some conspirators.”
“Definitely one of those conspirators works on your medical staff,” Tcho reminds him. “So I don’t think we can just take these people to the infirmary.”
The captain picks up the duty roster for the night. He knew Third Mate Soh’Soh was the officer of the watch and that there should be four crew, but not much beyond that. Fortunately, the uniforms include little name plates, and Rowan is able to determine that Petty Officer Kepra, a Rodian, is unaccounted for. “Kepra might be a mutineer. Although, it is hypothetically possible that she could have been dragged away…”
“Well, I don’t have a lot of computer experience, but we are on the bridge now. Are personnel records available from here?” Tcho asks. “If I could look through them—”
“What do you want to know? I can just log in,” Rowan offers.
Tcho suppresses a frown. Working through the captain is less than ideal, but he can certainly start that way. It is a good investigative approach for learning about mutineers, certainly, but there are other people aboard this ship that Tcho wants inside information on.
“Do you think we should cross reference who Kepra bunks with?” Rowan asks as he accesses the system by hunting and pecking with his two index fingers.
“Yes, anything about Kepra and her associates. And maybe Adalat and the FX droid. Maybe see if they shared any duty assignments and who else with.”
After a moment, Rowan brightens up. “Yes! They both served on the same shift as support staff to the medical wing. You said your friend saw some sort of medical droid?” Tcho confirms that an FX droid was plotting with Adalat, and that confuses the captain. “How was a droid plotting? That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Adalat and the droid were discussing taking you out.”
“Did Adalat take over the droid somehow? Reprogram the restraining bolt?”
“Kerr-Lonn-Ny said that the droid didn’t have a restraining bolt,” Tcho reports.
“That doesn’t make any sense either. More mysteries,” Rowan mutters. He shakes off the brief funk. “All right! We have a set of potential conspirators. I’ve pulled together a list here of other people Adalat and Kepra have worked with.”
There are other things that Tcho would really like to look for in this computer, but not if the captain is driving. He needs to get Rowan away from the terminal but without him logging out. “Would you be able to check the navigational computer? See if you can get readings on our progress through hyperspace? That’s an area of concern as well.”
“Capital idea,” Rowan agrees.
As soon as the captain’s back is turned over at the navigation station, Tcho quickly begins flipping through the records at the first console, looking for information on the moff’s quarters and the ballroom he commandeered for whatever he is working on. Anything that could give Tcho an edge on accessing those locations would be most welcome. Passenger room codes have a certain level of security on them by default, but he is hoping that the captain’s login can bypass some of that. Unfortunately, this system just does not seem to connect with wherever that information is stored. At least not in a way that Tcho can swiftly find right now. And all the scrolling and swiping is making him dizzy. Giving up, he turns to check on the captain’s progress. “So what does it say? Is it safe to leave hyperspace?”
“Confound it!” The screen in front of Rowan is awash with information he cannot make sense of. “We’re not where we’re supposed to be, I don’t think. But navigation is not my strong suit.”
“All right, well… “ Tcho takes a breath to steady himself. “We’re going to have to head somewhere else in the ship.” More tramping around is not what his vertigo and nausea need right now, but Tcho does not feel like rest and recovery is an option at this point.
“We need to get to security, clearly,” the captain says. “If they’ve taken the armory, well, then it’s all over, it’s hopeless.”
“Did Kepra or Adalat have any known associates in security?” Tcho asks. Rowan looks through the list he assembled, and the answer is no. “All right, if it’s a risk you’re willing to take, sir, then sure, we can proceed with that. If they all seem to be on your side, then they are certainly helpful people to alert.” Tcho takes a quick glance around the bridge. “Do you have any sort of locker here with sidearms or anything?”
“Not at this bridge. Of course not!” The only chest they need up here is the one for chilling bottled water. “The armory is staffed by security personnel. They will have certain stun weapons, of course. This is a luxury cruise, lad.”
“Yeah, but it’s a dangerous galaxy.”
“Not on here, it’s not supposed to be.”
“This many beings, all in one place?”
“They’re on vacation,” Rowan insists. “Or they’re working,” he adds after a moment. “Everyone on this vessel is working or on vacation. Like the moff! He’s enjoying a nice, relaxing cruise.”
“Yeah… Something tells me he’s capable of doing both,” Tcho says under his breath. “Look, I know there are people I can trust on this ship. Maybe we can get the comm system working and call them in for help, in case security is not so secure. Is there a system manual in here somewhere?” Tcho starts opening cabinets and drawers. Rowan locates a binder, but it is simply the protocols for officer presentation requirements and keeping work stations tidy. Just as Tcho finds a dusty manual underneath one of the panels, the main door to the bridge hisses open.