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There is No Limit to Evil

Posted on Wednesday May 15, 2019 @ 7:13am by Detective Joey Waters & Officer Zaneta Danek

Mission: LINK
Location: Main FPD Office
Timeline: MD02 - 0830 Hours

“On, come on!”

Danek smacked her fists against her desk in front of her computer. She had gotten stuck on her fifth roadblock set up on the network. The further and further she had strayed from the normal information superhighway that was the Federation Network and into the darker places hidden from the unsuspecting. Hacking, a practice popularised on Earth in the 20th and 21st Centuries, was still a necessary talent to acquire, especially in both law enforcement and the military. Since then with the creation of the Federation and Starfleet, sometimes it was next to impossible to get through an encrypted network run by a highly sophisticated criminal organization.

Today was not one of Danek’s successful days.

Joey’s head popped up from behind the wall that separated the Investigations office where he worked at and the main office where Danek worked. “You alright over there?” His eyebrows were raised as he was all too familiar with the sound of the frustration coming from the officer.

“It’s this stupid network. I had found an exposure in this group’s messaging system.” Danek placed her arm on the desk and plopped her head in her hand in frustration. “I’m soooo close to getting access to their messages to each other but I keep hitting these security blocks.”

Joey’s eyebrows dropped slightly. “Ooooh, this is for the meeting with the Romulans, right?” He was bummed he got stuck on doing additional thorough background checks on all of the shop owners on the base and was missing out on something that he always enjoyed doing: hacking. It was the skill that made up for lack of personable skills in the academy and kept him on the police force. It also came in handy when he helped try to solve the Alex Cross case which was the incident that sent him straight to Detectives. It was also a skill that died without practice. Archie wouldn’t mind him taking some time away to help a colleague, right? “What are you trying to do?”

“Commander wants us to try to get intel on groups that may make themselves known during the President’s and Romulans’ time here,” Danek pointed at the code that was scribbled across her screen in what appeared to be random to the untrained eye. “There’s a weird break in the code and I can’t figure it out.”

Joey came over and stood behind her chair, looking over the screen and deciphering the text quickly. He felt a lump begin to form in his throat as the jumbled words formed together in his mind. “What have you found so far?”

Danek shrugged. “Nothing much, really. At least nothing that’s public. I just started like an hour ago and this was the first lead I found. I started off doing a quick sweep of the public networks with anything matching the Romulans and Deep Space 7. So I moved to the hidden networks. If there is anyone out there planning anything they’re doing a good job hiding it.”

“So, where are you at now?” Joey tried to hide the nervousness in his voice.

Danek pointed at the top of the screen. “It’s this Federation Nationalist group called the Federation Resistance Corps, and while you would think it’d be focused on the preservation of the galaxy it’s anything but.” She scrolled through the text. “‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for our Federation children.’” She let off a scoff. “They’re not very clever. That’s a centuries-old motto of a guy who created one of the most feared White Supremacist organizations in the United States and Earth’s history.” Her eyes moved up to Joey who was concentrating a bit harder than usual. “It seems they take a very ‘either you’re with us or against us’ mentality.”

“The Romulans certainly fall into that category.” He looked down at Danek. “Any mention of the meeting? I saw the press release the President’s office sent out late last night. It’s been all over the network this morning.”

Danek shook her head. “That’s what I’m trying to find out. I can’t crack the code to get into their messaging database.”

Joey looked around and grabbed an empty chair and brought it next to Danek. “Here, let me try.” He felt his finger twinge in anticipation of getting into that system. He was tempted to leave a little cyber mine once they were done but decided against it for the moment. He could always change his mind later.

Danek raised her eyebrow and pushed herself out of the way to let him in. Joey was one of the best on the force when it came to forensic technology so if he couldn’t get in, she’d be embarrassed to have to plea to Paul to contact Security and Intelligence to do her job for her. The pride of the FPD was still so young. It was a constant uphill battle for them to be taken seriously by Starfleet, let alone Deep Space 7.

Joey’s fingers danced smoothly yet quickly on the panel. He felt like a kid in a toy store on a shopping spree. Chewing on his lower lip, he was determined to get into the system, if only to satiate his personal fear of who may be behind this Federation Resistance Corps. His fingers stopped as his screen flashed momentarily. No go. “Huh,” he hummed to himself. Then he tried again, this time varying a bit of his code. Another flash. “These guys are pretty solid,” he turned to Danek with a shrug. “Though most terrorist organizations are.”

“They may not be terrorists, just ideological kooks.” Danek’s eyes were slightly wide with worry. Something was drawing her to this group but she didn’t know why. There was a connection that needed to be dug out. It was a pure hunch. Her body then straightened as the idea surged up her spine and through her hands. “Wait, try this…” She reached in front of Joey and entered in a whole new code, combining her attempts with Joey’s, and watched the lines transform into a listed forum. “Bingo!”

The pair looked at each other with the same gleeful and proud smile as they looked over their discovery.

“‘Calling all leaders and believers of the Federation Resistance Corps,’” Danek began reading out loud. “‘Today is a day of reckoning and resurrection! The Federation is seeking to go to bed with the enemy as their own systems have just recovered from the intergalactic war decades ago; an enemy that is so cruel and disruptive and holds little to no value to the very people in their own race.’”

Joey’s lips twitched slightly. “Straight to the point.”

Danek chuckled as she continued reading. “‘The President wants to pollute our clear waters with pointy ears and impure hearts. The Romulans have gutted and murdered our families and our children and our service members. And now a meager man is falling to his knees in front of the very things that threaten the very safety of our home and lives and our future. What makes us believe this isn’t a part of the Romulans’ plan to take over the Federation and eradicate those of us who are not a part of their species?’” She paused as she felt the words burn down into her soul. It was so full of disillusionment and absurdity but it was real. People were thinking this and they were believing it. It frightened her. Her eyes continued to scroll, trying to avoid the lies that were being shared across the Federation to the countless members that were inevitably reading and believing. She found some relief when she found the invitation to rally. “Oh, here it is. They’re setting up a rally. Looks like they want to come in a few days before the Romulan leaders’ arrivals.”

“Great,” Joey groaned. This was just another thing thrown onto his plate. Not only did he have to worry about the current shopkeepers but he had to worry about a group of radical ignorants as well. But his question still hadn’t been answered. He began typing again, this time cutting through to the membership list and the admins of the forum. “Hey, can you pull up the file on Penumbra?”

Danek’s eyebrows furrowed slightly. “Penumbra?” Since she was a new addition to the crew she had not been privy to the tragedies that involved that name that was still not allowed to be mentioned in the FPD office.

Joey nodded as he remained focused on the list that was generating in front of him. “Yeah. Grab the list of former members and see if you can find anything new on them in case they’ve surfaced again in the past two years.” He tried to keep his voice flat to hide his fear of their return. They had a couple of fish to fry with them, especially with the FPD, and it wouldn’t seem irrational for them to want to seek revenge and use this as an opportunity to do it. He had come on board after but his initial training on Obsidian Command included flagging keywords involving the terrorist cult.

“Another nationalist group?” Danek questioning continued as she began digging in the files and pulled up the information logged involving that name.

Joey didn’t answer right away as he was focused on noting the hierarchy of the group and the organization of its members of the Resistance Corps. It was very militant and designed much like the hate groups of the centuries before. “I’ll tell you later. Just get me the names.”

Danek shrugged to herself as she did what she was asked, completely unaware of the extent of the damage the group had done on some of the people she had worked with. Once she was done, she turned the monitor towards Joey so he could see the analysis once he completed it. “You gonna check the names?”

Joey nodded his head. “Just to make sure there aren’t any crossovers.”

Her eyebrows scrunched together. Joey was always so joyful and carefree, while he had his neurotic tendencies, the moments were always few and far between. “Who’s Penumbra?”

Pausing at the repeated attempt to know more, Joey started up the search and let the computer do its thing. He turned to Danek with a solemn look on his face. “An anti-Romulan group, almost like a cult looking to ‘purify’ the Federation. They’re a bit more extreme than this Resistance Corps thing. They only believe in the human race surviving a showdown of epic proportions. They’ve gone so far as attempt to incite a race war and place the Romulans at fault. Two years ago, they kidnapped Archie and one of the members tried to kill Annie. This all happened back on Obsidian Command. We handed the case over to Intelligence and haven’t heard from them since. They tend to go underground for years at a time while they plan their next major attack. If they show up here, they’re gonna have a field day as they aren’t exactly friendly with a portion of the crew here.”

Danek swallowed roughly, feeling the torment in Joey’s voice. It was completely out of character. But he was very protective of Annie, his dedicated partner, and she now understood why. Her eyes were wide, still not used to the true dangers at the hands of a terrorist organization.

Joey, wanting to move on to a better conversation, at least for the moment, returned back to his work while the computer still finished its analysis. “Danek, can I ask you something?”

“Sure, sure. Anything.” Danek was relieved that he broke the thickening tension.

“Is Dale seeing anyone?”

Danek’s skin began burning and she felt her cheeks flush with embarrassment. Just hearing his name alone sent her stomach into an untameable knot, but it was definitely not a wanted feeling. Out of anything he could have brought up, it had to be this! Danek shrugged, trying to remain as calm and casual and almost uncaring as she could. “I dunno. Why would he talk to me about that?”

“Just curious, that’s all. He’s been sneaking around lately, coming up with excuses not to hang out. I just figured he had a girl or something,” Joey let out a breath as the computer beeped.

No matches.

Joey smiled as he felt the pressure lift off, at least for now. He still had a bit of work to do, especially with trying to get a rope around Penumbra. If they still even existed. But there was no limit to evil, even a broken group like them. They could have been holed up somewhere, planning their revenge and an even more frightening plot to end life as they knew it.

 

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