957 words; about a 5 minute read
Mission 1: To Catch a Thief
Location: Ops Office
Timeline: Backpost before landing party post
“Dumb OPSEC,” Toareth said as she slammed her PADD down. Upon the screen was the all too familiar “ACCESS DENIED” message. She had just been working on it moments earlier and now “This again.”
Grabbing her PADD, tricorder (because the same thing will happen to it as well), and her commbadge, Toareth set off for the Security office. René had a shift on the bridge and she was thankful for that as she certainly did not want him to find himself in some form of conflict of interest debate. The first person she saw upon entering the office was a human female. It did not matter who it was, she just needed to get her devices working again.
Toareth stepped up half way between the desk and the door, not wanting to interrupt whatever she was working on, and waited, as patiently as she could, for her.
It was starting to feel like the main shuttle terminal at Starfleet Command with all the coming and going she had through her office. It was making it more challenging getting the mountain of paperwork complete that she had before her.
"What can I do for you Lieutenant?" she asked, sliding the same PADD away that she had just been interrupted from completing not moments before this interruption.
"It's my PADD," she held it up, flat so she too could see the big "ACCESS DENIED" error message. "And some other devices as well," she motioned with her shoulder as her tricorder, medical tricorder, regenerator with wand, and her commbadge all rattled about in her satchel. "Not sure if they all need meddling with but at least this," she held the PADD out to her, "has denied me access to it. I was working on a research project just five minutes prior to it locking me out."
"Let me take a look!" Amara extended her hand to take the PADD so she could investigate the reasons behind the lock out.
"It's this silly Starfleet OPSEC protocol subroutine thing that is in all our devices now," Toareth started. "You see, Starfleet Security understands that we age. Over time, our voices change, retina alters slightly and fingerprints also alter ever so slightly. It is a natural progress as we grow older. If, in such time, it is proven that someone's voice has not changed, or retina does not indicate an appropriate passage of years, then the computer thinks it is being hacked and," she pointed at the PADD still with the big 'ACCESS DENIED' message displayed on it. "I am El-Aurian," she said with a hand to her chest, "and I age about 1 year to about seven of your...well...seven Earth years. In short," she smiled at him, "my PADD thinks someone pretending to be a me is trying to hack in, because it thinks my voice and my retina should show an age difference of so many years." Toareth took a breath. "Is there something you can do to reset the protocol or," her voice changed to sound a bit sorrowful and distressful, "do I need to take it to the Security Office. I really do not want to go through that hassle."
"I can indeed" Amara chirped, already handing the PADD back to the young Lieutenant. "Your profile was still set to your previous posting and access code. You just needed to update the profile access so the interface is aligned with the Britannic's main computers" the warm smile returning. "Don't worry, I did the same thing when I arrived here as well!"
"Oh," Toareth was a bit confused, "So that Starfleet OPSEC protocol subroutine regarding natural aging and changes to voice patterns, retinas and fingerprints had nothing to do with it?" She asked her question as she looked at her PADD. It was, in fact working fine again. "Well, is there a way you can make sure the OPSEC protocol does not lock me out in time?"
"I've already disabled it. The protocol is more of a problem than a solution with non critical systems or devices. You shouldn't have any further issues with it going forward!"
"Well," Toareth looked at her PADD. For added measure, she looked at her tricorder and its settings showed, likewise, a disabling of said protocol. "I thank you," she said. "I am in your debt." She was hoping just to get her devices unlocked, not for a perpetual disabling of the protocol. Now, she would not have to worry about this again...ever. "If there is ever anything I can do for you, just..."
"...ask!" she finished for you younger women with a warm smile knowing full well that her job meant she was here to help the crew.
"I'm sure I will and if you need anything else my door is always open!"
Toareth hoped it would be a while, or never, but did feel good about knowing there was someone to watch her back should any of her past, or present, deeds ever came to light and thrust back into public view. "Thank you," she said. "I will keep that in mind. Do have a good rest of your day."
"Same to you Lieutenant" Amara sighed as she looked back down at the pile of paperwork she still had to finish... "Complete this or find some way to get out of it which I think according to Starfleet only death would be an acceptable excuse!" she laughed a little before she picked up the PADD she had been working on.
Toareth wanted to, jokingly of course, mention that she could help accommodate with that but felt it was too soon for that level of dark humor. "I know that feeling all to well," she said then turned to make her exit.