Author Topic: A Tiny Oversight  (Read 37164 times)

Offline John Reynolds

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A Tiny Oversight
« on: March 03, 2012, 11:09:01 pm »
|Expanse Oversight Advisory Home Office, Deck 10
|0900 Hours, MD 1

Hank McAllister kept his sharp brown eyes fixed upon the doorway leading into the Administrative Offices they had commandeered for their purposes as he went about his morning ritual of writing up a report of the previous day's events before moving on to the schedule for the remainder of the week.  Organisation was the key to maintaining order.  Something that was sorely lacking in Sector 1757 as far as he was concerned.

As expected the current Commanding Officer of Starbase Niner Zero Niner, one Captain Nikolas Gren Bakyr, offered little more than indignant acceptance of my presence here.  Perhaps even my presence in Sector 1757, not simply Kepler Station.  Given his age and therefore experience within Starfleet I had expected a better understanding of the quagmire resulting from the way his crew handled the recent trade negotiations. I suppose that's my fault for not taking into account the type of person the Captain seems to be; even in the short time he has been here he seems to have adopted a protective role where his subordinates are concerned.  The Admiral still believes that Bakyr knows who was responsible for killing the Breen suspect, despite his claims to the contrary, however that is of little consequence to my role here.  What's done is done and it now falls to myself and the other members of the Oversight Advisory to make something of these shambles.

I believe that my best course of action is to settle any concerns Captain Bakyr has regarding his station becoming host to the EOA by offering one of my people to fill a temporary gap in his crew.  That will also conveniently get Ensign Robertson out of my way until I can find a more permanent solution.  Although I know nepotism can be a common occurrence I find the whole idea frustrating at best.  While she is a competent Engineer her inexperience leaves her of little use to our role as the representatives of Starfleet Command within The Expanse.

"Um, excuse me, sir?"

Hank suppressed the faint raise in irritation with barely a thought as he set down the PADD and looked up at the Ensign questioningly.  "Yes, Miss Robertson?"  He asked in his usual manner.

The young girl noticeably steeled herself under the older man's gaze but managed not to get too flustered.  "You asked to be informed when the resources Captain Bakyr has allocated our department arrived."  She paused for a moment, to offer McAllister a chance to respond if he wanted to, and then continued, "the list has just arrived but it's only two thirds of what you requested."

"That was to be expected."  Hank replied simply.  Kepler Station was known for her perpetual lack of resources at the best of times so the fact Bakyr hadn't trimmed the supplies even further was perhaps a sign that his first assumption of the Trill may have been too harsh.  "Make do with what we have but send a request back to Earth and see what they can provide next time a vessel comes within range."

Sha Shan nodded, "Aye, sir."

When she didn't move Hank made the decision to offer her to Captain Bakyr for as long as he needed an Engineer.  "Dismissed, Ensign."  He said curtly before ignoring whether or not she followed the order and returning to his report.  Barely another line was written before the door opened and Lieutenant Tillman entered carrying a box of belongings destined to decorate his desk in the near future.

"Good morning, sir."  Ivan greeted his Superior Officer politely as he passed by.

"Lieutenant," Hank replied simply as he stood up.  "I believe you're due to hold a briefing with some of Kepler's personnel shortly?"  He asked despite the fact he already knew the answer.

"Yes, Commander."  Ivan replied as he set the box down on his desk and gave the other man his full attention, "I will be briefing the scientists on the properties of Teslacite and the environmental conditions that we believe are responsible for its development."

"Right," Hank nodded, "I remember reading your report on my trip out here.  From memory there are some promising potential uses for the mineral in sub-light vessels and a variety of smaller devices."  To be honest that really didn't interest him but it never hurt to let people think you were interested in their work.  "I'm a little surprised you haven't requested to go on the Away Mission."

Tillman shrugged, "field work really isn't my thing, sir."

"That's understandable.  There is more than enough work requiring your attention here anyway," Hank observed before getting to his point, "do you think that Ensign Robertson would be of use to the Away Team?  They must need an Engineer to assess the..." he gestured for Tillman to fill in the gap.

"Teslacite?"  Ivan prompted.

Hank nodded, "right, Teslacite.  Practical applications are one of the main objectives behind this mission so her background would be of use, would it not?"  He wanted to be sure there would be something for Robertson to bring to the party before he suggested anything concrete to Bakyr.

"Uh..." Ivan scratched the back of his head as he thought about that.  "I don't see why not, sir.  Kepler is lacking Engineers so the extra assistance would more than likely be appreciated.  Even though we're not the most popular people here at the moment."

"Don't worry about that too much, Mister Tillman."  Hank said with a slight shake of his head, "people who don't feel appreciated for their efforts tend to see threats to their natural order where there are none.  Given time they'll come to realise we're just here to do our jobs the same as them."  He patted the man on the back and said, "you better head down there promptly so we don't get a reputation for hindering their duties."

"Yes sir," Ivan replied as he picked a PADD out of the box and tucked it under his arm, "right away."

(Continued in Curieosity Killed The Cat)

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« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 08:37:36 pm by John Reynolds »

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 12:47:54 am »
|Captain's Quarters, Deck 3
|1200 Hours, MD 1

Cadet Rexus Spokar pressed the button that announced his presence at the Commanding Officer for Kepler Station's personal quarters with a bit of uneasy trepidation.  He had kept his head down at work these last four weeks since he last saw the Captain, so when the Trill Captain requested his presence this afternoon, he was at a loss as to why.  Smoothing out his uniform tunic, he put on a neutral face as it opened up. 

"Come in Mister Spokar."  Nikolas called from the bedroom before emerging with a fresh uniform jacket in hand.  As he made his way over to the replicator he slipped the jacket on and took a moment to do it up properly.  "Would you like anything to drink?"  The elderly Trill asked as he replicated himself a cup of lemon tea.

"Ah, yes sir.  Coffee would be great.  Black.  No sugar.  Thank you."  Rexus always felt a little cautious around the Command Staff, but Bakyr had that sort of aura to him that made him feel more at ease.  Standing near the kitchen counter, he waited for the Captain to do his thing. 

Nikolas handed the younger man his coffee without commenting on the fact it was probably the worst thing for someone his age to be drinking, he was his Commanding Officer not his father.  "I've been thinking about our mutual friend," the Trill said as he tilted his head towards the bedroom where Holly O'Malley, or Blake, or whatever name she wanted to use at the time, was trapped due to her need for holo-emitters.  "And I think you were right; she does need something more than practically haunting my quarters."  And he needed her gone so he could finally use the bed rather than the couch.  But somewhat like Rexus, he too had grown fond of the photonic woman and didn't want to just see her switched off and put away.

"That's... great, sir."  The Angosian stuttered, not expecting the conversation to turn this way.  Sipping his coffee, finding it just a little too hot, and blowing on the inky surface, he let his mind sort out the information.  "I had looked into several options, sir.  I could have her server transported pretty much anywhere, so if you want her in her own quarters, in a lounge or shop, or even in the Kepler mainframe, I can probably set her up in an hour or so.  Did your talk with her include where she might want to go?"

"Nowhere!"  Holly yelled angrily from the bedroom.

Nikolas sighed.  "She still believes her husband will come back for her."  He explained to the Cadet.  "How difficult would it be to leave her system set up here but have her access other parts of the station?  I know Kepler hasn't been fitted out for the EMH Mark II so we're pretty much limited to areas that already have emitters."  He smiled weakly, "I don't have enough resources as it is without assigning time and equipment to this sort of job."

"Oooo..."  Rexus drawled as he audibly contemplated something.  "I can have her access the station mainframe but that would allow Holly unprecedented access to some information... unless you want to add more work for Operations to do.  It would patch her into any holoemitter on the station or you could restrict her access to whichever ones you don't want her popping out of.  But in effect, you'll be making a media maven out of her.  She'd be tapped into the station's intra-Relay pretty well."

"That would not be a wise thing to do."  Nikolas said simply.  He already had Starfleet Command breathing down his neck over station security.  And with this new Expanse Oversight Advisory looming over their heads it was even more important that he didn't push his luck.  His intention had been to solve the issue of Holly taking up his bedroom and perhaps finding a way to make her useful, but this seemed too risky.  Then an idea struck him.  "Just how much access would she have?"  He asked as casually as possible.

"You can give her a regular person's Identcode and she'd have as much access as a private civilian.  She'd just be in the Relay all the time.  A lot less than what some Fleet vessels have as a Ship's AI, since she wouldn't have the authority to do stuff like open doors or follow people through the security grid."  Rexus explained.  "I mean, she wouldn't be a security threat.  She just might... change... with all the new information she'd be handling.  I dunno how inclusive her programming is without cracking her box open.  But I think I've explained why I don't suggest we do that.  I would suggest some honest-to-goodness professional help for this, but like you said... time and equipment is limited." 

"Yes..." Nikolas agreed before taking a sip of his tea.  He had to admit the logistics of this sort of thing where beyond him.  Technology changed so quickly that it was all but impossible to stay up-to-date.  However he did find the idea of someone who was able to get around the station, and its information, without a physical presence intriguing.  That certainly needed more thought and perhaps the insight of Lieutenant Reynolds.  Maybe even Lieutenant Rines.

Rexus chewed his lower lip and thought about it more.  He really attempted to separate work and family, but in this case, it might help everyone... including Holly.

"As far as time and equipment, I can help."  The young cadet finally said.  "I have close connections to a holoprogramming and distribution company.  My family on Angosia.  If I ask we could probably revamp a good portion of our system if you want to privatize Kepler's public holodecks like we have Deck Eight's Foodcourt.  They'd probably ask for exclusive rights, but you would have something really close to the Mark II EMH and whatever else you might want to cherry pick from the catalog.  but its the best and most efficient way of fixing all our concerns at one time." 

Nikolas mulled that over for a moment.  "Have a proposal written up and I'll give the idea some thought.  Kepler could do with some updating and if we have to make a deal or two to help that along then I may be willing."

"Aye, sir.  I'll bounce the numbers off of them and have it back to you by breakfast tomorrow.  Is there anything else, Captain?"  Rexus asked as he finished the last of his coffee.  Talking about Holly without talking with Holly, who was only in the other room was a bit awkward, but not too alien for the young man.

"Hmm?"  Nikolas shook his head slightly, lost in thought.  "Uh, no.  I believe that's all we can really talk about on the matter before you've spoken to your family."  He set his cup down on the counter and looked at the Cadet seriously for a moment.  "You understand the need to keep this quiet, don't you?"  He asked.  "With everything happening around here a misheard comment could draw unwanted attention.  We are under the proverbial microscope at the moment."

"Yes, sir.  Understood, sir."  Rexus nodded.  With the arrival of the Oversight Committee, the Security department had cranked its protocol up a notch.  Now it was a very clear and set job, with observable stress levels.  He was just glad Reynolds had returned to oversee the department and add one more level of authority between the Cadet and their special mandate overseers.  "My family is also very discreet with their client's information.  I'll see to it this gets the highest level of encryption I can muster."

"Thank you, Mister Spokar."  Nikolas said with a polite smile.  If they could get Holly to become somewhat of a covert agent it might just make his life a little easier around here.  When you had to worry that your own people were traitors you needed as many trustworthy friends as possible.

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« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:50:56 am by John Reynolds »


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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 06:04:55 pm »
|Transporter Room 3, Deck 10
|1120 Hours, MD 1

Crewman Sven Stevenson stood at his console nervously trying not to look like he was nervous underneath the watchful gaze of the Chairman of the Expanse Oversight Advisory.  Although the Lieutenant Commander didn't appear to be observing him, as such, Sven had heard too many rumours from the other Enlisted crew about the group's presence in The Expanse to believe the man could be standing there without taking mental notes of everything that happened as he waited.  Sure it sounded paranoid but combined with the man's appearance, almost like some smooth-headed statue depicting an idealised role model of Starfleet calm and determination, gave the Crewman more than enough reason to feel justified in his nervousness.

"If I'm not mistaken that means they're ready to energise."  Henry McAllister said in a calm, crisp tone when the Crewman seemed to miss the repeatedly blinking shape on the console in front of him.

Sven blinked at the sudden noise and gave a start, "huh?"  Then he looked down at the display and made some odd noise that could have quite possibly been his brain signalling for his bladder to empty.  Managing to recover a little of his composure the Crewman nodded, "yes, sir.  Thank you, sir."  Without any pretence of remaining dignity he activated the Transporter and exhaled in relief when the shimmering blue lights of the person beaming on board drew McAllister's attention away.

Hank took a couple of calculated steps forward which put him exactly on the cusp of the distance considered too close to the Transporter Pad by social conventions.  He had been advised on the arrival of a Security Observer, who had been appointed by someone in Starfleet Command prior to the formation of the EOA, and wanted to meet her in person and brief her on the climate before she met Captain Bakyr.  Since she would be reporting to him and not Kepler's Commanding Officer that seemed like the prudent course of action.  It avoided any confusion as to the chain of command that was to be followed.

The shimmering silhouette of an equally statuesque woman formed rather faster than one would have thought. Perhaps the nervous crewman had brought her 'in' a little too quickly. No matter, there she stood.

His face remained neutral as Hank waited for the woman who had just materialised to make the minute adjustments to her new surroundings that the process usually required.  "Welcome to Kepler Station, Lieutenant Rines.  I am the Expanse Oversight Advisory Chairman, Lt. Commander Henry McAllister."  He made no move to offer her his hand, "I trust you had a pleasant journey?"

With a subtle rolling of her shoulders, Rebecca walked down the few steps before her. She had made no appreciable attempt to survey her surroundings beyond looking directly at the crewman to thank him via eye contact and a slight nod, and then her attention was given fully to the Chairman. This was not to say she was not aware of what was about her. Rines had done her homework, and knew the layout that she would be facing. 'Who' she would be facing was another story entirely, but that was not something that would not be easily adjusted too.

"No reason to complain, Commander," she said standing at attention, "and thank you for the personal welcome."

Hank nodded his head a fraction in response, "I must admit a slight ulterior motive."  He told her as he gestured for the Crewman to deal with her belongings while they continued on, "the EOA's arrival here has ruffled a few feathers with the Command staff and seeing as you will be reporting to us I wanted to lessen any issues you might face by speaking to you before Captain Bakyr does."

"Ulterior motives perhaps, but I share similar concerns regarding how some may take my arrival on the station," she said with the slightest tilt of her head, "it is rare to find a Security Chief that likes to have their staff and systems observed by someone outside the local chain of command. I do not envy your job...not in the slightest."

"I guess we both have our work cut out for us," Hank mused as they made their way out of the Transporter Room and headed for the EOA Home Office.  "While I can understand the implications of our presence here I remain confident that all the Commanding Officers operating within The Expanse, and Kepler's Security Chief, will understand that we're only here to improve things for their benefit.  That should not be taken as a personal reflection on their abilities."

Following along, Rebecca walked with hands clasped behind her back. Her walk was verging on casual, but military in its precision enough to not be taken as if she was at ease. "Do not fear Commander, I can differentiate between lack of skill and frustration over having someone standing over your shoulder. Everyone makes mistakes. I will take this into account. I hope to see a great deal of accountability. That would be most impressive," she said as she walked, "tell me about the EOA's purpose Commander. How many people are reporting to your team?"

"Putting it simply everyone who reports to Starfleet Command will instead be reporting to us."  Hank answered.  "The recent events have caused Starfleet Command to take a more active approach at handling operations in The Expanse, so our appointment is essentially them having a direct presence here."

"That is understandable," she said and then took in a breath sharply, "forgive me for sounding disrespectful, if this is how it comes across. It is by no means the intention. But, isn't it a little out of the ordinary for a Captain to be reporting to a Lieutenant Commander?"

"You're not the first to have asked that," Hank explained simply.  "I would like to claim that my experience, or training, or even just amazingly smooth head were the dominant reasons for my selection but I believe proximity and availability were key factors."  He led Rebecca into the Home Office and over towards his desk.  "The Advisory members were selected and then I was made Chairman, so I don't think they intended the difference in rank.  Of course I am only acting on Starfleet Command's behalf, so my own rank is really of no consequence."

Rebecca nodded with the slightest of smirks. "Of course, it is far easier to say and understand that from this side of things. It is never easy on the receiving end," she comment. She glanced about the office, it was rather nice even if not quite finished.

"Do you have anything in particular you would like me to be on the look out for while on Kepler?" She asked matter of factly.

Taking on a more serious expression, which hardly seemed possible, Hank nodded slowly.  "Security on this station has been a continual problem.  I'm not saying that comes down to one person or even the Security Department; some situations are just beyond our control.  But it is our duty to minimise those situations and I don't feel like that has been done on Kepler Station for a very long time."  He paused for a brief moment and then asked, "have you been briefed on the Station's rather colourful history?"

"Sir...with all due respect to the security staff on the Kepler...if they are not minimizing the affects as they ought to then it is down to them that these things are as bad as it is," she stated bluntly, "no need to sugar coat the truth. That is not what I am about. In that vein...please...tell me a little about what Kepler has endured. I can read the details in the reports later."

Hank smiled faintly.  He could tell he was going to get along well with the Lieutenant.  "My knowledge comes mostly from reports as well," he began, "but I have also personally interviewed some of the people in the know..."

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« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:51:33 am by John Reynolds »


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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 04:14:18 pm »
|Maidali's Quarters, Deck 5
|1100 Hours, MD 1

Unless she was flat on her back somewhere, Maidali Luisa Velerio Cienfuegos --or Dex to pretty much everyone who wasn't looking to get tongue-twisted--was never more than an arm's length away from her "vintage" Type 3D Phaser Rifle.  Actually, it usually was close by even when she was on her back.  Understandably, she felt a little naked without it now, but some idiotic regulation meant it had to be packed up for transport, just like everything else from her now-empty quarters.

The brunette said, "Enter" even before the door chime had finished.  She had been expecting this final visitor.  "LT," she saluted him casually. "Shouldn't you be helping prevent a diplomatic crisis somewhere? Or fighting off terrorists or pirates?"

John offered a grin in response as he entered the spotless room.  He had never left Quarters this clean in his life.  Might be why most people in Operations had a short temper around him.  "I'm trying to avoid causing one by leaving those Oversight nerds to themselves.  If I didn't know any better I would accuse you of orchestrating this whole committee thing just to annoy me."  He pointed at her thoughtfully, "you've got to admit the timing is suspect."

Dex chuckled. "You caught me, boss.  Good old fashioned misdirection; I fabricated the whole thing just to preoccupy you during my stealthy getaway. Couldn't have you hanging on to my ankles, begging me not to leave, could I?"

"That sounds too dangerous.  I may have done some stupid things," John said somewhat seriously, "but even I wouldn't try taking you on in a fair fight.  The odds would have to be seriously stacked in my favour."  He grinned again and then asked, "for the record, would that change your mind?"  It wasn't a very fair question to ask since she was moving onto a far better posting than Kepler Station but he felt it needed to be asked.

"Ay, LT, how could I possibly resist a handsome man groveling?" She laughed.  "You've got good folks on this station.  A lot of good enlisted crew, and the officers aren't half bad either.  And I've never shied away from hot zones, and Kepler's about as hot as you can get.  But, you know how it is when you wear the uniform, you go where they tell you to go.  Hell, if they had told me this would happen if I made Chief..."

John cut her off, "you would have made the same choice."  He said with a small smile, "because that's why we signed up, isn't it?  To experience as much of what the universe has to offer as possible while doing what we love."  He laughed and interjected, "while trying not to be blown apart by crazy people.  Leaning on the counter he continued, "I won't deny that you'll be a pain to replace, Dex, but you deserve to make your mark on some other out of shape Chief of Security."

"As if I'll find any as out of shape as you!" Dex just grinned at the fake offense John took at her ribbing.  "Anyway, we know each other well enough not to pretend.  I'm wandering the galaxy for adventure only as much as you are."  She sighed, making her way toward the replicator. "Drink?" she asked.  "Funny how far we can run and still be stuck with all our baggage, isn't it?"

"Yeah," John answered both questions simply.  "I used to think I would never stop running..." he said thoughtfully.  "Life has a way of seeming more dramatic than it is sometimes.  It's when you have to say goodbyes that you start to see things weren't so bad."  He was going to miss having Dex there to keep him on the straight and narrow.  She creeped the hell out of him always carrying a rifle around but there was no one he would rather have there when things got rough.  He was pleased to see that she was getting the career movement she deserved though.

"Dos cervezas."  She carried the cold bottles over to a couch and handed one to John.  "Glad one of us got settled. Well, then," she toasted, "salud, mi Teniente.  What is it the Vulcans are always saying?  'Live long, and prosper.'"

John nodded, "coming from a species who live a couple of hundred years that does seem a bit conceited."  He said with a laugh as they clinked their bottles together.  "But for us it sounds like a good strategy!"

A bittersweet farewell, brought to you by:

« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:52:20 am by John Reynolds »

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 11:21:12 pm »
|EOA Home Office, Deck 10
|0925 Hours, MD 1

Looking around the sparse office Hank tried to envision the hive of activity that would occupy the space in the near future.  Every single aspect of operations within The Expanse would pass through here to be dealt with by the various Representatives.  It was a tremendous responsibility but one that Hank was confident they were capable of handling.

A petite brunette Yeoman was putting a couple of PADDs down on his desk for approval and then hastily made herself scarce when Hank appeared.  Captain Bakyr had agreed to allow Yeoman Pond to work for the EOA until their full time staff arrived at some point in the next couple of weeks.  There wasn’t a compliment of Intelligence or Administrative staff already on board to procure them from.  Which reminded him, "has Lieutenant Eolical come back from the Intelligence Offices?"  Hank asked the Yeoman before she got too far away.

"Um..." Judith turned back to face the man with a thoughtful expression.  "I haven't seen her, sir."  She answered.

Hank nodded in acceptance.  "Alright, thank you, Miss Pond."  He hoped that her absence meant she had found something useful amongst the Intelligence reports left by the previous Chief.  If they were to bring operations in The Expanse up to scratch then they needed to know everything there was to know.

|Intelligence Office, Deck 11

The Intelligence office was oddly tidy.  The wall displays were the only indication that Iari Eolical was hard at work.  Various reports scrolled while she tried to link the information together.  Unfortunately, what she was looking for was lacking.  She took a deep breath and looked up as the door opened.  "Sir?"

"Lieutenant," Hank greeted her as he made his way over.  "How is your research coming along?"  This would be an interesting test for the Ardanan female, given the mess so many other aspects of Kepler had become over the past year or so.

She gave him a frown before answering, "Not very well," she admitted.  "I suspect the inhabitants of the station are better archives than these reports.  There's a disturbing lack of information in these reports... which goes against the standard definition of an intelligence report."

"Not to mention that most of their information is six months out of date from our perspective."  Hank pointed out as he pulled a chair over and sat down.  "We just have to make do with what we have... but I can arrange for some interview times with the crew.  That would probably be wise anyway given the fact we have internal security issues to worry about."  He rubbed his chin thoughtfully before continuing, "I know Captain Bakyr is making inquiries but that doesn't feel like enough for me.  A Breen working with someone from Starfleet is troubling to say the least!"

"No, I fully agree," she mirrored his posture in her chair.  "There is a lot of organization behind the events and the former intelligence chief never was able to delve deep enough into the story to reveal anything that could start to explain what is happening.  And the players that could offer answers have met unfortunate ends," she explained and pointed to the pictures of the Breen delegate and a civilian transport doctor.

Leaning forward a little, Hank nodded thoughtfully.  "I had heard a few theories that linked these events."  He said simply before adding, "most only dismiss them because they took part on Kepler in the Delta and Alpha Quadrants.  But if we assume that is purely a coincidence and look at the motives, which seem to be to gain information and create disruptions to local powers in both areas, then the links start to make sense."  The Breen had denied any part in the assassinations and Hank chose to believe them because they had nothing to gain either way.  Their stance on Starfleet and the Federation as a whole was no secret so why bother hiding anything?

"These people weren't meant to continue living - they were a plot element rather than a random event," Iari concluded.

"Which is a concern in itself... if whoever is behind this doesn't worry who gets hurt then we lose the usual tactics for dealing with them."  Hank sighed and leaned back in his chair.  "How can one tiny little region of space and one bucket of bolts attract so much trouble?"

"One tiny little region of space is not exactly an accurate description of Kepler's locale.  Regardless, we'll get to the bottom of this.  It will take some time," Iari warned.

Hank nodded, "time is probably the only thing we have.  Although we should be getting more staff and resources in the next couple of weeks so at least that will help our progress.  And I'll get on to the other Commanding Officers and see what their own Intel departments can muster."  Sometimes information just took a while to filter back to Earth so hopefully their close proximity would improve matters of communication.

"I doubt I'll glean much more from these files..."

"There's no point wasting any more of our time here then," Hank pointed out as he stood up.  "We should go over the Security Department's personnel before the new Observer arrives."  He suggested.  The idea of having even more bureaucratic players in the sandpit was not something he was pleased about but he relished new challenges.  And life in The Expanse was going to be nothing if not challenging.

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« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:52:45 am by John Reynolds »

Offline Rexus Spokar

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2012, 06:36:06 am »
|Promenade, Deck 8
|1232 Hours, MD 1

"I can't believe you guys had a major party without me!"  John complained half seriously as he and Cassiopeia made their way along the walkway.  It wasn't too far from here that they had first met.  "You go away to get one tiny little new eye and it's pandemonium on the station."  He told some rather surprised passer-by before bursting into laughter.  "Okay that guy was a little freaked out so I'll stop now."  Nudging the small brunette gently with his shoulder John added, "but that doesn't mean you have to stop telling me how boring it was without me."  He teased.

"Considering your options, being able to see or playing chaperone to a bunch of aliens... was your trip really that bad?" Cassi asked.  Truthfully, she didn't want to admit the extent of how much she had missed John.  Talking to him over the comm wasn't the same as walking around the station with him.

"Hmm... you have a point there."  John said with a small smile.  "So where do you want to go for lunch?"  He asked as he looked around at the new faces.  Word of the attacks on both a Cardassian delegate and a Starfleet Captain didn't seem to have kept people away.

Cassi scanned the options in front of them, "Any place is fine, really.  I don't have my heart set on anything in particular."  She pointed to the next place along their path, "There?"

"Zombo's?"  John asked in surprise, "isn't that the place where the waitresses have big--" he trailed off when she looked up at him and then quickly added, "roller skates."  Clearing his throat he nodded, "sure we can eat there... I like burgers."

Cassi's smile grew; it was obvious that roller skates was not what was on John's mind.  "They've got other things too, like salads or wraps... and macaroni and cheese," she gave him an option from the children's menu with a teasing tone.

"Kids meals as well, huh?  Oooh, do they have those mazes where you have to get the cheesy mascot to safety?"  John asked sounding too serious to know whether he was joking.  He followed Cassiopeia inside and looked around at the bizarre style the founder of Zombo's had decided worked together.  It was remonstrant of old Earth.  "I think my eye has started malfunctioning..." John whispered with a grin.

"Careful, or they could send out the clowns," Cassi answered back with her own whisper.  She chose a table toward the back of the room where it was quieter and pulled the menu from its carriage on the table and dropped it in front of John's seat.

"Thanks," John replied politely.  As he started browsing it, the adults section, he decided to try and find out how things had been going for the quiet doctor while he was away.  "How are Violet and Rexus?  You guys still up to mischief on a daily basis?"

"Well, Violet's been staying out of trouble and made a lot of money during the trade talks," Cassi reported, "and Rexus ... has been Rexus."

John laughed, "good to see some things don't change too much."  He licked his lips as the pictures on the menu started to make him feel hungry.  "What about you?  Have you been keeping out of trouble?"  He asked with a sly smile.  "And that isn't Sarah covertly checking on Sickbay through me, honest."

"Oh, I'm quite certain she's going to have objections to things I've done..." but Cassi avoided the main question and turned the conversation, "How are things going between you?  I'm really surprised you weren't following her off the transporter pad."

"Things are going pretty well really," John answered, ignoring her attempt to get a rise out of him, as he lowered the menu.  "We went through a rough patch with me being stubborn... I didn't want her to feel obligated or anything.  But she set me straight about that."  He laughed and added, "the only problem really is that her cat and father both want me to suffer a horrible death."

"Ow, I can see that reaction from a father (don't really understand it...), but from a pet?  That doesn't seem fair," she paused as the young trill approached their table to take an order.

Kittiana rolled over to the table where the friend of Rexus was seated with some Fleeter and prepared her usual smile.  Sometimes it wasn't easy pretending this wasn't a lame job.  "Good afternoon, welcome to Zombo's."  She greeted them as she stopped with the precision of someone who did this almost every day.  "I'm Kitt and I'll be your--" she nearly said 'food monkey' but instead settled for, "waitress.  What can I get for you?"

Cassi gave quick consideration to the menu for only a second, more to locate the menu item that she wanted than trying to decide what to eat.  She quickly pointed to the greek chicken pita, "But no onions.  And some root beer."

"Sure thing," she replied with a more genuine smile than the one before.  While she didn't know the other woman very well she had heard good things from various sources.  "And for you sir?"

John looked down at the menu again before answering, "I'll have the Zombo Works Special with extra works, please."  He looked up at the young Trill as he handed her the menu but Cassi reached over first and returned the menu to the carriage she had pulled it from, "and a cola."  One thing he had noticed since being off duty for the past few weeks was that he was hungrier more often.  Which seemed odd since he was used to doing less.  Maybe it was his body adjusting to the new eye or something.

Kittiana took their menus and spun around to head back to the kitchen, "won't be long so don't go anywhere."  She called back to them before disappearing from sight for a moment as she moved around behind the counter to place their orders.

"Told you they had roller skates."  John told Cassiopeia with a goofy smile.

"Yeah," Cassi leaned on the table conspiratorially, "and she's got big boobs too."

John looked scandalised at her comment but the effect didn't last as he burst into laughter.  "You couldn't let it go."  He said with a pretend disappointed shake of his head.

Rexus Spokar was off duty.  Weeks ago, this meant throwing off his duty tunic into the recycler and putting on a casual jacket, usually a gray one that was a size too big.  Recently though, off duty meant tight shirts and jeans, along with a fancy leather jacket and boots.  He got used to it, and to be honest, when he got over that odd fear that his pants were going to split every time he bent over, it felt more comfortable.  He felt more confident in his skin, but then again maybe it was the positive reinforcement he got from his 'fashion coordinator', or maybe it was the looks he got from girls his age who passed by him in the corridors. 

"Hey Zombo."  Rexus called over the counter, as he walked into the shop.  The older man waved but didn't take his eyes off the grill for very long as he was busy.  It didn't matter.  He wasn't here for Zombo.

Kittiana looked up at the familiar voice and offered the Angosian a bright smile.  "You're early."  She said, sounding neither pleased or annoyed.  "But lucky for you this place sells food so we don't have to wait go grab lunch."  She rolled over that direction and handed him a menu.

"Whoa, Rexus?"  John asked sounding surprised when he realized it was the Cadet, "did you hijack a clothing shipment?"  He asked with a somewhat impressed tone.  "I don't think you've ever looked so sharp."

"Told ya!"  Kittiana gloated as Zombo gestured to get her attention.

"Afternoon, Lieutenant.  Welcome back.  Hey there Cass."  Rexus greeted both of them as he came closer.  It gave him the time to quickly appraise the situation, seeing his friend the doctor eating lunch with the Security Chief wasn't really out of the ordinary.  Reynolds was her friend and they had gone through some rough things together.  For some reason, that bond between them annoyed him slightly.  He took a seat at the table next to them.  "How's the... y'know." 

Rexus made a faint gesture to his own face, trying to be discreet about Reynolds' condition.

John grinned slightly at the not-so-subtle way Rexus tip-toed around his injury.  He was far less sensitive about the issue than he originally expected.  Maybe because of the guilt he felt over what happened to Cassiopeia on the planetoid.  "I'm starting to think they got a wire crossed or something," he said with a knowing wink to Cassiopeia given his comment about the décor.  "But it really isn't as bad as you'd expect.  Not that I recommend the whole process of course!  You're better off with the parts you're born with."

Cassi slid her hands off the table in order to sit on them.  The tension between the two men did not pass her notice, and though it made her slightly nervous, she wasn't going to address it either.  So, she did the best thing she knew how to do in a situation like that and quickly changed the subject, "The nurses keep talking about a new holoprogram, some sort of epic adventure... ah, the Neil Ganz Legacy, or something like that.  Either of you ever hear of it?"

John could be very observant when it came to his job but he didn't notice the undercurrent of Rexus' mood towards him or Cassiopeia's discomfort over it.  The irony being that no one felt worse about his part in what happened to her than John himself.  Even if Cassiopeia didn't blame him.  "I'm not really a fan of holodecks..." John said uneasily, "bad near death experience."  He added with a faint shudder.

"Don't tell me a big strong guy like you is scared of a little light show," Kitt interrupted as she breezed passed their tables and then turned sharply so her momentum was cut short and she could set their food down without an annoying little thing like slowing down.  "I'm sure your girlfriend will look after you."  She added with a wink to Cassi.

Cassi started to explain that Sarah Martin wasn't on Kepler at the moment when she suddenly caught the implications of Kitt's statement and her nose wrinkled in objection, "We're not a couple," she quickly objected.

"No way!"  John agreed, perhaps a little too quickly.

Cassi almost continued the objections but paused to look at John.  Their relationship was that of siblings, with the only thing not making it true being their genetics - so that he objected to Kitt's assumption was not an issue, but the manner he said it in...  A flush came to Cassi's face and she had nothing else to say.

"What I meant," John said awkwardly when he realized he had probably just offended Cassiopeia.  "Is that we're not a couple because Cassiopeia is like a sister to me.  And not in that way people say it when they're trying to be nice," he added for emphasis.  When he couldn't tell if he'd saved himself or not he pointed out, "I'm already in a relationship."

"R...i...g...h...t..."  Kittiana said with a small nod that ruffled her now emerald coloured hair.  She hadn't meant to step on a landmine with that misinterpretation.  It had just looked a little like a love triangle was going on when she had arrived.  But if that wasn't why Rexus looked tense then she would have to be more careful.  "One Greek chicken pita, hold the onions."  The young Trill said as if nothing had happened, "and a root beer."  She put Cassi's food down in front of her and offered an apologetic smile.  "And one Zombo Works burger with extra filling and a cola."

Cassi turned her plate, inspecting it to make sure it was free of the offending vegetable then took a sip of her drink.  "Looks good."

"Thanks."  John said quickly before shutting up.  He was in enough trouble without continuing to talk.

"Rexus, did you want anything to eat?" Cassi asked feeling awkward now that she had food and he didn't.

"Wha?  Oh."  The Angosian Cadet had been pointedly ignoring the earlier exchange and blinked at Cassi's question.  For some reason his forehead hurt when he stopped furrowing them.  The muscles around his lips too.  "Yeah.  The usual, Kitt.  Thanks."

"Wild berry again?  We have to work on making you more adventurous," the Trill said quietly enough for the others not to have heard unless they were listening intently.  She took her tray off the table and turned back to Cassi, "if you need anything else just give a shout."  Then as she passed John she patted him on the shoulder and said, "good luck with that."  She grinned mischievously when he let out a doomful sigh.  Just because she hadn't meant to cause a problem didn't mean the Fleeter's reaction hadn't been amusing.

John glanced at Rexus who was now pointedly avoiding looking his direction.  He really hadn't meant to offend Cassiopeia, he just really did think the idea of them dating was ludicrous because they both cared for each other on a different level.  That shouldn't have been a bad thing.  "I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, Cassiopeia."  He said honestly as he poked his burger with a chip.

Cassi picked up a french fry (chip) from her plate and tossed it at John, "Well, I'm not interested in you either, but you didn't have to make it sound like I'm a leper."

"Well... not a leper exactly..." John teased as he flicked his chip back at her.  "Would it make you feel better if I said I would still be your friend even if you were a leper?"  He asked with a grin.

"Uhm."  Even though Rexus wasn't the greatest fan of Reynolds at the moment, he winced and wanted to desperately change the subject, for everyone's sake.  "So, you guys doing anything after this?"

John laughed, "I might be going to Sickbay to get my foot surgically removed from my mouth," he grinned at Cassiopeia before adding, "but they're experts at that thanks to my repeat visits so it won't take long."  He had really missed being on Kepler the last few weeks.  Even though he wouldn't have given up his time with Sarah, or visiting Sammie, it was good to be back.

Cassi ignored John's comment, "Did you have something in mind, Rexus?"

"Uhm, well not really..."  The cadet began, but trailed off as he thought about it.  Looking at Kittiana as she came by with his smoothie, he tugged her apron with a warm grin.  "Thanks."

"Did you see if your friends wanted to come with us?"  The waitress asked as she sat on the edge of Rexus' table.  She rolled her foot back and forth slowly as she looked at him expectantly.

"Where are you going?"  John asked, trying not to sound worried about what he and Cassiopeia might be dragged into.

"Holodeck.  I guess we can alter the program to add two more."  Rexus stated, trying to gauge Reynold's and Cassi's interest.  "We usually do mountain climbing and concerts together, but I'm sure there's something we can all do."

"Oh..." John frowned, remembering the fact that this line of conversation had led to him embarrassing himself just a few minutes ago.  Besides it wasn't the holodeck he minded as such, just the holograms who wanted to kill him or his friends and steal their bodies.  Or the ones who were freakishly strong and decided he would be a good plaything.

Kittiana leaned forward and patted the older man's shoulder somewhat playfully.  "We'll protect you from the nasty balls of light, right Cassi?"  She asked the doctor with a cheeky grin.

"I wouldn't want to get in the way of your date, though," Cassi answered Kitt and decided the trill didn't see the discomfort she was causing the guys.

"You can't get in the way when I'm inviting you," the Trill replied simply.  She really hadn't expected people who live on such a crazy station to be such fuddy-duddies.  Anyone would think working for, or around, Starfleet meant you had to have your sense of fun removed.  That would need to change.  "We're just going to have a little 'fun in the artificial sun' so the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned."  Then in a last ditch attempt she suggested, "you can pick the program."

"Sure, okay," Cassi finally decided and looked at the boys for their opinion on the matter.

"Awesome."  Rexus shot both Cassi and Kitt a grin and raised his eyebrows at John. 

John shook his head as they looked at him expectantly.  "I wouldn't be much of a Security Chief if I didn't protect you from the evil balls of light now would I?"  He asked with a slight roll of his eyes.  Something that he wouldn't have been able to do properly without the prosthetic eye.

Kittiana laughed, "then it's settled."

"Cool."  Rexus stated with a certain amount of finality to it.  This wasn't what he expected, but then again, any social gathering that included Cassi with other people outside of work with people other than him and Violet was probably a good idea. 

"You might as well have something more substantial than a shake so these two don't feel like they have to eat fast."  Kittiana suggested to Rexus before slipping off the table, the roller skates clunking slightly on the smooth floor.  "So what'll it be?"

"El Diablo Dog and a cola, then."  Winking at the serving girl as he pushed his shake away from him and spread his hands in acquiescence.  Looking at Cassi and smirking mischievously, he added.  "Might as well spice things up it we're on a not so-official double date."

"You're not gonna let me live that down, are you?"  John asked with a shake of his head.  At least the burger wasn't trying to get on his case.


Offline Vilgi Morr

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2012, 11:19:52 am »

[Kepler Station - Crazy Eight's Ultralounge]
[Seven Days before MD1 - 2104 Hours]

A few weeks on the station and Vilgi already had it's good and bad points sussed. One of the big pluses was the several watering holes it contained. This evenings destination of choice, Crazy Eight's, simply because it was closest, his last job before going of shift was in the central section.

Vilgi had customary practice for getting to know people in the first few weeks at a new posting. This evening was no exception. The stocky Bolian  walked up to the bar, took a seat on the first empty stool, slapped the two either side of him on the back. "So what we drinking ?" Attracted the attention of the guy behind the bar and said. "Another of what these are drinking and an Andoran Ale for myself."

"Sure thing, Boss."  The barkeep, Sigma Iotian Miles Santori, nodded as he turned around to grab a bottle of whiskey from the top shelf.  "Comin' right up."  

"Hey there... Vilgi, right?"  The younger one, Cadet Rexus Spokar said as he greeted the newcomer.  "Rexus Spokar, Security.  I was the one that help you get processed in, couple of weeks ago.  How's it going?"

Planing an elbow on the bar and waving a finger in Rexus direction as he remembered the occasion being referred to "Yeah I remember you Rexus, you did a good job especially with the checks being a little tighter than normal this time around, with good reason. Its going good learning my way around the station. Getting to know people. Usual first few weeks on a new posting. It certainly has it's charms I've found."  

"Drinks up."  The barkeep called as he slid forward an Andorian Ale for the Bolian and a second for Rexus and the other guy.  

"Thanks, friend."  Said the tall, blond stranger with a Dixie drawl.  "Grey Daughtry.  I appreciate the drink but I've got to take off, my date's here.  Pleasure meeting you.  Miles, whatever this guy orders next, its on me."

"Sure thing, Grey."  The barkeep replied.

Nodding to the Cadet and the Bolian, the tall stranger left to meet up with a young woman loitering outside the lounge's doorway.  Left with his friendly benefactor, Rexus sighed.

"Lucky guy.  I think I just got stood up, myself."  The cadet groused as he took a swig of his whiskey and coke.  "Thanks for the drink, by the way."  

“Thanks Miles.” Vilgi acknowledged the barkeep as he grasped his drink, paused and bobbed his head a couple of times, as the stranger excuses himself just as the drinks came up, at least he got a name for future reference, “The names Vilgi.” he returned as the stranger walked away, the return of the drink was a bonus. “Very lucky by the looks of it.” Vilgi commented with a grin as he returned his attention to the cadet. “That’s unlucky, been in that position a number of times. Was this to be a first date? if it was give her a little longer.” Vilgi advised, parroting similar advice that he’d received a number of years ago.

"Naw, we've been seeing each other off and on for the last three weeks." Rexus said, wobbling the drink on the surface of the bar and watching the precipitation beads fall. He didn't want to dwell on the fact that Kitt and him really weren't exclusive. "But anyway, what about you, buddy? How's the market for a Bolian like you?"

Vilgi shrugged. “Not to bad I suppose, theirs a few more civilians around which makes a nice change.” He downed the last of his ale before continuing. “No dates as such, but that intro I use has got me a few drinks with a few ladies and a few names as well so we’ll see.” He ended the last with a grin.

"Heh.  Well I got all the time in the world to see you in action.  Cheers, Vilgi."  Rexus raised his drink and clinked it against the Bolian's Andorian Ale.

“Cheers, Rexus. I’ll give it a minute or two, the pretty ladies are getting a bit of attention right now.” He grinned at Miles and indicated he’s like another drink. “Rexus I wouldn’t mind knowing what I’m in for on this posting, do things tend to go sideways a lot or is it plane sailing, from your point of view?” The Bolian asked in his experience a security man was the best placed to give an answer to this question.

"Hmmm... that's a helluva question."  The cadet mused as he drank from his tumbler.  "I'm sure you've hear the rumors.  This place is haunted, cursed, radioactive... I personally don't think it is.  But the Station does have an atmosphere of probably about it, good and bad.  Meaning, if its a probability of something bad happening, the chances are good.  We've been a magnet for terrorists on several, separate occasions.  Attracted large space oddities that have tried to damage the station.  Had to change post addresses twice in two years.  Hell, half the time, you can't even trust the cute girls that serve you muffins, because they might be laced with stuff that makes you go crazy.  Kepler's a bit of a strange place."

“So the old ‘expect the unexpected’ saying defiantly applies here, that might be a challenge.” Vilgi said with a sigh, he knew only to well unexpected situations still had a habit of stumping him, something he would face when the time came. “Still events like that have got to pull a crew together haven’t they?” He questioned hopefully

"Heh."  Rexus couldn't help but chuckle at that.  "Kinda.  We get by in a pinch, I suppose.  All this trauma makes for a delightful basket of head cases, your's truly included.  You meet any of the Senior Staff yet, like Reynolds, Rae, or Bakyr?"

Vilgi grinned at Rexus comment about the effect events had on the personnel crewing the station. "Met all three of them but only very briefly, Bakyr and Rae when I reported in, I know that's unusual. They both seemed to have a handle on things and determined to keep it that way. As for Reynolds, again briefly when sorting out access to certain areas of the station." he stated in response, also giving his rough opinion of the three.

"They're pretty good at what they do."  The Angosian Cadet stated, putting down his empty tumbler and thought about it.  "Bakyr is pretty friendly.  One of the most understandable guys I've seen in a command position.   You'll like him, I'm sure.  Rae is pretty tough, she came up from the SecTac ranks so you expect that.  Don't get on her bad side.  And Reynolds can get a little like that too, but he's conscious about keeping a good impression with folks.  Just because he smiles a lot, doesn't mean he hasn't gone through a lot."  

"Another one, Rexus?"  The barkeep asked as he made the empty tumbler dissappear.  The young man nodded.

"Generally we're a friendly place, you should fit right in if the place doesn't kill you."  Rexus shrugged.  "You game for some nine ball?"

Vilgi listened as the Angosian filled in a little more about the people at the top. For the most part it was along the lines Vilgi was assuming from his encounters with them, but it was good to have a little conformation from a resident of the station.

"Yeah getting killed is bad for you, or so I've heard." Vilgi commented before nodding to indicate he was up for a game. "Yeah I'm game, played a couple of times." A hint of irony was in his voice for this statement along with a grin.

"Awesome."  Rexus continued as he slid off his barstool and made his way toward the billiard tables.  "Let's get warmed up and see if we can invite a couple of those Acamarian freighter chicks to join in."

Vilgi followed making sure to take his drink along. "Like your thinking Rexus, lets get all the misses and drop shots out of the way with. Then I'm thinking doubles, one each maybe." He said as they neared the tables. Glancing round he noted they were all occupied for the moment, but there were a few who's occupants games were almost done, so possibles. Glancing also at the tables near-by the billiard table, at one he notice sat a pair of Acamarian freighter chicks. Nudging Rexus he threw a glance first at a possible pool table, then at the table occupied by the Acamarian's catching the attention of at least one of them. "Looks like we may have a possibility's in more ways than one."

"Heh, sounds good to me."  Rexus grinned wryly.  He figured it would be interesting, in the very least.  "Y'know Vilgi, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship."

"I think you may be right." Vigli replied as he noted a pair finish their game and leave a table "Tables clear you want to rack up."


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« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 12:33:26 am by John Reynolds »

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 09:06:18 pm »
|EOA Home Office, Deck 10
|0635 Hours, MD 2

Despite the swiftness by which Doctor Maya Takagi had been transferred away from the USS Renaissance, she had managed to call in a few favors and get the details on her new "team." Thus she knew that Lt. Cmdr. McAllister was a morning person.

As she was as well, the younger woman was sitting at his desk when he arrived for work. She was not due to arrive until later that day, supplanting the Medical Representative that Hank had hand picked himself.

For her part, Maya was both upset to be returned to Kepler, and eager to find the traitor that she was certain was amongst it's crew. What didn't make her so eager was being placed squarely within a convoluted bureaucracy.

She remained seated as the Commander stepped inside, simply tilting her head to the side and making eye contact. "Doctor Maya Takagi, reporting as ordered, sir."

Hank gave no physical indication that he cared either way about her being in his seat but he no doubt passed along something mentally without being aware.  You could train yourself to control stray thoughts but it was never infallible.  "Good morning, Doctor."  He greeted her with a polite smile.  "Curious that you've arrived before your transport was supposed to be here."  He added with a small smile.  Just as he had hoped her eagerness to finish the job the Rear Admiral had taken her away from was overruling any predisposition she had to groups like the EOA.

"Apparently, shuttle craft can go faster than regulation if one nags the pilot enough," Maya said, by way of explaining her early arrival. She stood and let him take his chair back.

Personal feelings were of no real concern to him so long as the people he was dealing with could be professional.   "I can see working with you will be an interesting experience." Hank said as he handed her a PADD containing the Intelligence they had managed to gather from the Endeavour and Monitor.

She ignored his comment. It was both patronizing and irrelevant to the task at hand. "I'm caught up on the information," she explained, after giving the PADD a cursory glance. She looked back towards the door, sensed no one on the other side, and returned her attention to the Commander.

"What is your specific directive regarding this matter?" she asked. The station was apparently now home to several intelligence specialists and security consultants. It seemed likely to raise suspicions amongst their target or targets.

"As far as everyone outside of the pair of us, and perhaps Lieutenant Eolical, are concerned you are here to fill in for Doctor Hancock," Hank explained as he set the PADD down on the desk and sat down.  He wasn't surprised that the information they had gathered wasn't news to the Betazoid.  "That will mean you have to spend a token amount of time dealing with his workload I'm afraid, but it will also hopefully give you an advantage over the myriad of newcomers in Security and Intelligence."

He was also contemplating having Takagi take over Kepler Station's Sickbay until the Chief returns from her research because he wasn't totally happy with a civilian, especially such a young one, being solely responsible for a department that has such a high turnover.

"Then I will focus on Doctor Hancock's workload," Maya replied. It was both formally her job and a great way to remain out of sight. "In the meantime, has your hands on work gleaned any possible suspects?"

"No, we don't have any real suspects... obviously the nature of the attack suggests an Engineer but that doesn't mean they aren't cross-trained."  Hank answered with a slight frown.  It bothered him to no end that this hadn't been handled better.

"I recommended to Captain Perry and the Admiral that interviewing the entire crew of the station was the best way to find out the source of the information leak - particularly if someone from internal affairs was called in. Regardless, I believe this matter was handed to the station's staff psychologist. Thus there is a likelihood that the perpetrator of this crime is aware of our investigation and has gone to ground."

"I believe that Lieutenant... uh, McGuire?"  He asked before deciding that was the right name, "is using trauma counselling as an excuse to talk to each crew member but I doubt our target is clueless enough to buy that.  Which means we have to work even harder to keep our own investigation under wraps."  He didn't doubt that Maya was capable of getting more information it was just whether they could do so before Bakyr's own attempts washed the evidence away.

"I suggest to you and your intelligence officer that the EOA builds its own separate computer core and network," Maya replied, "Without informing the station's staff. Whatever we seed to Kepler's central network will be primarily public information and misinformation."

She paused for a moment and studied his expression. "While I clearly have a personal stake in finding this potential traitor," she explained, "I am aware that we have more responsibilities than solving this particularly embarrassing security leak. With that in mind, what are my additional orders?"

Hank was contemplating her suggestion, which seemed well worth implementing, so took a moment to answer.  "Our role here is to act directly on behalf of Starfleet Command," he explained in a way that implied he had said that multiple times in the last few days, "so anything related to operations in The Expanse, that would normally be passed up the line to them, comes to our new Home Office here.  Some of those matters will need the entire committee however many of the Medical related ones will be left up to your discretion."  He leaned back in his chair a fraction before continuing, "even though our base of operations is here on Kepler Station, our duties could require us to personally visit any of the vessels and outposts throughout The Expanse.  So Captain Bakyr will get the occasional reprieve."

Maya wasn't particularly looking forward to returning to her previous ship to dictate Starfleet policy, but she let that consideration go for the moment. This whole Oversight Committee sounded like a bad idea, but she would do what she could to make sure some good came out of it.

"We have no colonies in this region of space, so the only medical matters would be making sure our ships are properly staffed, the crews regularly vaccinated for all new diseases that we encounter in the expanse, and reviewing the case work of each ship on a regular basis," Maya replied. "As well as rendering humanitarian aide if and when it is requested."

It was a desk job, plain and simple... and perhaps a punishment or a reward, depending on how she wanted to look at it. "The young civilian physician who is temporarily in charge here on Kepler is competent," Maya stated. "Nonetheless I will inform her that I am available to do rounds several times a week, and assist with trauma cases."

"Regardless the Counseling department, I would prefer to leave Doctor McGuire to her own methodology, as if it was up to me everyone here would be medicated,"she deadpanned. "If there's nothing more, Commander. I'll begin attending to whatever paperwork was awaiting Doctor Hancock."

Hank smiled faintly at what he hoped was a joke.  Then again he could see the usefulness in that sort of thing in some cases.  "Alright, those decisions are your department so we'll go with that."  He said as he stood up.  "But I would like to be kept apprised of Doctor Yale's progress because I personally feel that she is being tasked with too much for a civilian Paediatrician."  There were too many civilians in key positions on this station.

While some of the Starfleet crew and civilians acted like children, there didn't seem to be any actual children on board for Doctor Yale to practice her pediatric speciality. "The station needs more Doctors, whether civilians or officers," Maya replied, feeling no particular need to defend the Civilian in charge.

"I will run some analytics on Kepler's capacity to deal with any sort of massive medical crisis, whether an influx of casualties or a catastrophic event. With that understanding I'll be able to recommend an overhaul of the department," she informed him, coldly.

Either not noticing or not caring about the shift in Takagi's tone Hank said, "Very good.  We have use of Captain Bakyr's Yeoman so if you need anything she is at your disposal."

With a nod, she turned to the door. "Thank you for your time, Commander. If you need anything else, I will be working out of my quarters until my office is set up."

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« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:55:46 am by John Reynolds »

Offline Hideyoshi Shimura

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 04:56:43 am »
Deck 4-Ensign Shimura's Quarters
MD1- 2042 hours

Of the numerous people involved in the last Security Department debacle, Hideyoshi Shimura seemed as likely candidate as any to be grilled first. It was perhaps a little premature to call the situation a debacle, but from the reports that she had read debacle was looking more and more likely as the word she would choose as a cornerstone for her report.

Standing outside the quarters of the cleared crew member, Rebecca rehearsed in her mind what she would say when the door was opened. For now though, she stood with her perfectly erect posture and awaited the door to slide open, or to hear the word to enter given.

Hide had just settled into his armchair when the door chimed.  Rexus was on duty and Maya was gone, who else would be calling at this time?  With a furrowed brow he placed the PADD he was perusing on the sleek black coffee table and headed towards the entryway.

"May I help you?" he asked of the young woman standing before him after the door slid open.

"Hideyoshi Shimura?" She said with the most rhetorical tone of voice ever, "I am Lieutenant Rebecca Rines, Security Observer...I was wondering if I may ask you a few questions...if it is not inconvenient?"

"Oh...right, please come in." He stepped aside and gestured for her to enter his quarters.  He had heard scuttlebutt of a committee arriving on Kepler to ascertain whether the recent incident was at the fault of those assigned to the station.  He should have figured they would have questions for him regarding his involvement.

"Would you like something to drink?" he offered as the door closed and the Lieutenant stepped further into the room.

A hand was quickly lifted to reject the offer. "Sorry...still on duty," she said with a shrug, "but I will keep that offer in store for later."

She took a deep breath and prepared to plunge in. "I am sure you know why I am to make a statement before I start asking my questions?"

"There could be any number of reasons you are here," Hide replied with a halfhearted smile as he took a seat once more in his armchair, "So I will just let you do the questioning."

"Coy Ensign?" She said with a quirked brow, "I had not envisioned that as you style based on your record. A Starfleet appointed observer of your stations security department offers you a chance to set the tone of the conversation that is clearly going to go to only one topic...and you smile that opportunity away? Really now. Is this your way of telling me there are more than just the obvious reasons to be questioning you? In light of recent aspersions lathered on your character one would think that insinuating there was more to talk about...would be the worst course of action."

Bitch was one of the first thoughts that popped into his head and he sincerely hoped this woman was not a telepath.  Otherwise things were about to get even uglier.

"Forgive me, Lieutenant, but I have already been cleared of any and all involvement in the assassination of Gul Parel.  Anything I could possibly have to say has already been said to Captain Bakyr, Commander Rae, the representatives of the Cardassians, Ferengi, Orions and slew of Admirals and Commodores over subspace.  Therefore you are here for something specific and I do not wish to waste either of our time saying something that is already on record," he replied in a steady and neutral tone.

"How were you cleared?" She said in an even tone, eye contact not flinching for a second.

"Lieutenant Maya Takagi accessed my memories of the bombing.  Just before I blacked out I caught a glimpse of the Breen assassin's helmet.  I was unable to process this while conscious until the memory was brought to the surface," he answered.

"So, on Takagi's word you were cleared of all charges," she stated, "very well. I will follow up that matter with her. The issue I would largely like to address is how you felt the Security Department handled your case? Did you feel at danger at any point of being held responsible for something that was ostensibly not your fault?"

"And on the fact that the Breen delegate attacked several others including Captain Perry and Cadet Spokar," he did not like this woman or her insinuations, "As to your next set of questions, no I did not feel in danger of being arrested or anything of the sort.  Besides the fact that I did not commit any wrong doings I was unconscious in Sickbay for the duration.  Dr. Yale and Cadet Eastman can both attest to that if need be."

Rines chuckled softly. "That would alleviate any immediate stress wouldn't it," she mused, "how do you feel security has handled this situation as a whole?" No sense in beating around the bush.

"As well as can be expected under the circumstances," he answered honestly, "It is no secret that Kepler Station has been severely understaffed in all departments for some time now.  Given the increase in traffic from the delegate species and even with additional crew from the Renaissance lending aid  it is a testament to the department that the situation was not worse than it was."

"So you blame staff shortage for any failings?" She said to clarify. It was the first mention of any staff shortages she had come across. It was interesting that there was no real continued mention of this in any reports.  Perhaps it was a sign of pride that Reynolds never bugged Starfleet about the situation. In her mind it was a failing on his behalf, if it were true.

"Yes," he nodded.

"Very well," she said with a nod of her head, "it will be noted in my report. Thank you for your time, Ensign."

She turned to leave with little adieu. As the door slid open she turned on her heels and glanced back at Hideyoshi. "Ensign...I am not here to make friends...or to adopt local assumptions. People say there was a conspirator on this station...but I will not rule out the chance of there being two. Some form of coma would make a brilliant please don't get comfortable."

With that she turned and left.

He had stood politely and followed her to the door thankful that the conversation had at least ended better than it had started.  Of course, that didn't last long.  He stood dumbfounded for a moment watching her walk away.  The shock was quickly replaced by a wave of intense anger; a fury he could not remember ever feeling.  Before he could even think about what he was doing he lunged forward with a growl and tackled the Lieutenant to the ground.

The security cow was easily taken down to the ground with the heroic lunge. Rebecca fought back with all she had, but it was not enough to thwart the might of Hideyoshi Shimura. She did everything short of bite,  stretch and claw. Nothing could get her from the iron like grip of the Science officer.

He felt exhilarated as she struggled beneath him.  It was a feeling he had never felt before, at least not since the Draco incident.  How dare this woman insinuate that he was a traitor?  The sheer audacity!  Hide wrapped his hands around her throat and squeezed tightly as Rebecca feebly attempted to push him off.  He pressed with all of his strength until he could feel her windpipe crush between his fingers.  The security officer gave a final lurch and was still.

Then Hide was standing in his doorway, watching Rebecca Rines stride down the corridor.  His breath came in ragged gasps as he began to realize he had imagined the whole thing.  Quickly he stepped back into his quarters and locked the door before anyone could see and question his appearance.

It had seemed so real!  He could still feel her die beneath him.  He stumbled across the room and grabbed an unopened bottle of scotch he had received from someone or other as a get well gift after his most recent stint in Sickbay.  hands shaking, he pulled out the stopper and pressed the bottle to his lips taking a large gulp to wash away the bile that had risen in his own throat.

A trip down a dark path, brought to you by...

« Last Edit: April 11, 2012, 02:30:00 am by John Reynolds »

Offline Hideyoshi Shimura

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2012, 04:59:27 am »
[Kepler Station - Shimura's Quarters]
[MD2 - 1705]

Cadet Rexus Spokar pressed Hideyoshi's door plate and wondered if he had beat the Japanese Social Scientist to his quarters.  If he had to wait, at least he had changed out of his work clothes and was comfortable, he was wearing a trendy dark red hoodie and a pair of stylish charcoal gray cargopants, both of which had been claimed to be made by hand on Sol III... if the Ferengi could be trusted. 

It just so happened that the young Cadet did in fact beat Hide to his quarters as the Assistant Science Chief came strolling around the corner half a minute later still in uniform.  He smiled and gave a chuckle when he saw Rexus standing outside his door.

"I see someone was eager to get off duty tonight," he commented as he pressed the open button and stepped inside.

"Trust me, with all the new regulations and briefings because of this new Oversight Committee, everyone is chafing under the bridle."  Rexus rolled his eyes at the his own comment, following Hideyoshi in and plopping on the couch.  "And I'm sure it's the same for you.  Gosh, I haven't seen much of you these last few weeks.  Figured I should touch base with you.  How's things been going?"

The Ensign paused briefly at the mention of the Oversight Committee as he walked across his quarters to the bedroom.  He had told no one, not even Dr. McGuire, of his encounter with Lieutenant Rines and his intense urge to kill the woman.

"Things have been interesting," he said cryptically before entering his bedroom and shucking off his uniform.

"Well, that can't be good."  The cadet remarked with a wry grin, calling over his shoulder.  "The moment things get 'interesting' here on Kepler, stuff either blows up, gets kidnapped, or shot.  Anything less than that is a normal work day.  Everything cool?"

"For the most part," Hide called back.  He emerged a few moments later wearing a plain black t-shirt and dark blue jeans.  "Have you encountered anyone from the Oversight Committee?" he asked Rexus as he made his way into the small dining area.  He rummaged through a cupboard and found a bottle of half empty scotch from which he poured two glasses.

"Kinda.  The scientist guy Tillman was talking about the camping trip most of sciences is heading off to."  Rexus shrugged, taking the offered glass of scotch with a nod of thanks.  "I guess they don't need a social scientist like you tagging along, eh?"

Hide took a seat in the armchair beside the couch Rexus was seated on and took a sip of of the scotch before replying, "Not for this particular mission.  Now that I am only Assistant Chief I am thankful for a bit more free time and the away mission would have put at end to that."

"Oh, I also met that new chick, Lieutenant Rines."  Rexus brought up, taking another drink of his scotch.  "Pretty.  Really hot accent.  British, evidently.  Real hard ass."

"Those are not the precise adjectives I would use to describe that wretched woman," Hide said bitterly before taking another sip.

"Eh, to each their own.  I kinda like the feisty ones."  The Angosian mused with a wan smile on his face.  "Sorry I haven't come by all that often, I've been kind busy and when I get a chance, either you're in a meeting or in the lab.  You ever get a chance to catch up to Taylor? " 

"Nothing to worry at," Hide said with a wave of his hand, "And no I, ah, have not seen Ms. Lawson since our sushi dinner a few weeks ago."  He still didn't know whether Rexus was aware of his orientation or not and the constant attempts at pairing him off with Taylor were amusing.

"Bummer, well I promised the two of you a holosuite session.  I'll get the others lined up for it eventually, but Bianca just took off for the away mission and I haven't seen much of the others."  The cadet shrugged.  "Hey, what do you think of little Miss Lawson?" 

"She seems nice enough, if not a little naive," Hide replied.

"Aw, I think we all were naive at one point of our lives or another."  Rexus knocked back the rest of his scotch in one last gulp before standing up.  "You eat anything yet?  Want to grab some dinner and blow off some steam?"

"Sure I have not eaten since this afternoon," Hide finished his own drink and got to his feet as well.  His own idea of what steam needed blowing off vastly differed from the Cadet no doubt, but Rexus was his only friend aboard the station and he continued to enjoy their time together.

"Awesome."  The cadet nodded happily.  "We got lots of catching up to do.  Boy, lemme tell you, I've got some stuff going on..."

To be continued...

Offline Rexus Spokar

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2012, 07:01:14 am »
[Kepler Station - Security Offices]
[MD2 - 0945 Hours]

"Personnel screening, Security and Tactical operations overview?"  Rexus read the new appointment that had magically appeared in his personally crafted schedule, between Station Armaments diagnostics and Practice at the Shooting Range.  "That would have been nice to know before I started uncasing phasers, I'm already late."

Rexus sighed and put back the side arms he was going to practice with.  The Shooting Range was relatively empty but a few of the crewmen had come in complaining of some scheduling changes, which prompted him to check his own.  He was glad he did, or he might have completely missed the new appointment and risked ticking off another higher up.  The instructor's name didn't look familiar but her Instructor credentials in Field Combat Tactics meant that maybe they had found someone to replace Dex Maidali in her old role of whipping the crew into combat readiness. 

"Who the heck is Rines?"  The Angosian cadet groused to himself as he pressed a button, bringing up the image of flaxen brown haired young woman with a multitude of curves in a wickedly cut Security uniform.  "Oh, she looks pretty hot." 

Having just been around the corner chatting with another Cadet, Rebecca had overheard everything. She did not act upon it though. There was no need currently to do so. Instead she would hold the comments for the time being and allow the one that had offered them the best chance to redeem themselves through impressing her with their abilities. "Very well, Cadet," she said to the young woman that she had been talking too.

Spinning about her heels clipped against the floor as she marched, not walked, to the center of the room. "Form up Cadets!" She called in crisp, clear command.

The somewhat unique Old English dialect perked the Angosian's ears, who quickly turned about to join the other assembling trainees.  The previously mentioned pretty hot Lieutenant was among them and standing in that wickedly cut Security uniform.  Rexus arched an eyebrow and chuckled a dry, "Huh?"

Was this really necessary? "Rank and attention, NOW," she ordered firmly locking eyes seemingly on Spokar. This was a quick test to briefly examine the aptitude of the Cadets and crewmen in the security/tactical division, and so far problems were clearly evident.

Rexus stood at attention as best he could, feeling the eyes of impending doom upon him.  Perhaps it was the long span of time without Reynolds in Station; or the fact that Dex had just left Kepler; or the concept that the EOA was here and everything was becoming an inconvenient bureaucracy like the many layers of an onion; but the actual idea of a Marine-style call to attention was one of the last things the sardonic cadet expected to hear.  He waited to see what would come next, but he was pretty sure it was going to be directed at him, and probably not so good.

Rebecca marched, with military precision, toward Rexus and glared at him. "Step to the right, Cadet," she ordered.

"Aye, Ma'am."  Rexus replied swiftly as he sidestepped to his right and returned to his position at attention. 

Rebecca stepped forward the one step to be in the position that Rexus had just been in, though facing the opposite direction and looking at a rather nervous looking red haired crewman. "Crewman...if you think you can hide behind someone you know is going to draw attention away from your own tomfoolery then you have another thing coming, Mister," she said sternly, voice barely above regular speaking level, "get your crap together and get out of here. Meet me in Holodeck 2 at 0700. There...I will show you the meaning of jackassery. Dismissed."

With little adieu she took a few steps back. "Fall in line Cadet."

"Aye, ma'am."  The Angosian replied again, stepping back into position and feeling as if he had just missed the firing squad. 

"As you may or may not be aware, I am a Lieutenant Rebecca Rines," she said, "I am not here to make friends or enemies, but simply ascertain the level of competency of the Security and Tactical division of this station. You may think it odd that I be so forthright regarding this..."

She glanced about the small, but wary group.

" to avoid aimless rumour-mongering and scuttlebutt. I will be honest with you, and I expect the same favour in return. The sooner I get this done...the sooner I am out of your hair...and I am back on Earth. Everyone is happy then...stress is over. Sound fair to you? Good."

This was expected.  Rexus wondered if she was part of the EOA or if this was just an added layer of that bureaucratic onion.  However, the young cadet was more than curious as to what Reynolds was going to think of this third-party assessment of his department.  He should have just stayed on Kepler and sported a dashing pirate's eye patch to keep an eye on things, but hindsight was always 20/20.   

Rines again allowed her calm, controlled gaze to roam the small group. "Tomorrow at 0800 you will be at Holodeck 1 unless on duty. On duty personal will be there at 2000 hours. On the Holodeck you will face a few scenarios I have constructed to test your Security and Tactical nous. But before I dismiss you at this time...I wondered if there were any comments or questions that you may already have..."

After her tongue lashing of young Crewman O'Reilly, no one dared speak up.  Rexus had nothing he wanted to voice yet, though he was sure to hammer the Relay for any and all information about this firebrand Lieutenant and see what he should expect tomorrow.


« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:56:37 am by John Reynolds »

Offline Maya Takagi

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 01:10:46 pm »
|VIP Quarters
|MD2 1700 HRS

There was a considerable number of people that Lieutenant Rines had to make her way around to see. One that had screamed to the top of her list was a Maya Takagi. Apparently, she had helped Hideyoshi Shimura regain his memory of the recent events. Outside the quarters of the Medical Lieutenant. She composed herself and chimed to indicate her presence. Whether she would find an ally or a foe on the other side of this door was something only time would tell.

"Enter," came the reply. As the doors parted, Lieutenant Rines saw a slim, dark haired woman seated at the dining table, wearing a lab coat over her teal- trimmed uniform and a blank expression on her face.

Maya's dark eyes glanced over the security observer without any apparent judgement. "How may I help you, Lieutenant?"

"Lieutenant Rebecca Rines," she said with a cordial smile as she entered, "you are Lieutenant Maya Takagi, yes?"

"I hope so," Maya replied, glancing at her left hand to make sure. "I prefer to be addressed as Doctor. Have a seat."

"Noted, Doctor. I am here regarding the recent aide that you gave Ensign Hideyoshi Shimura... regarding his memories of the Breen attack," Rines stated.

"Very well. Is there something that wasn't properly answered by the investigation report given to both the Cardassians and Starfleet?" Maya inquired, while glancing over the PADD of medical reports that she was reading when Rebecca entered.

Rebecca made a beeline to the table where Maya sat, and pulled out a chair. She sat promptly and glanced casually at the PADD on the table. "The report was thorough...but I hope you will understand if I ask you to relay to me in person. After all, the report that I file for Starfleet will have my name on it. I would rather hear the words from the proverbial horses mouth. Could you start with how you helped Shimura with his memory recall and perhaps give me an indication as to how accurate his recall would be. Would there perhaps be any hallucinations...or the like thrown in the mix?"

Maya observed that Starfleet was up to its usual efficiency - assigning people to generate massive amounts of useless paperwork. Regardless, Ms. Rines took her assignment seriously, as Maya did, even if she didn't seem aware of the uselessness of her job.

"I am a Betazoid, Lieutenant, I was able to read the Ensign's mind with his consent," Maya explained. "And my training enables me to separate valid information from any static that exists within the memory."

"I see," Rebecca said before looking away and staring off into the non-existant distance, after all there was a wall not far away. Truth be told the supposed mole within Kepler's crew could easily be two moles, and Takagi's word could perhaps only be as strong as her innocence. No one was above suspicion, which made for a rather lonely and frustrating assignment.

" has been surmised that there is a traitor amongst Starfleet personal on board the Kepler...or connected to the Kepler in some capacity," she said when finally having looked back at the Betazoid, "you could imagine that this, even the remotest chance of this, is of great concern to Starfleet Command. They wish me to be quick and succinct...this situation should be dealt with so I can return to Earth with my report... preferably..."

The thoughts of suspicious that passed through Rebecca's mind made Maya slightly more interested. It was wise to consider her a suspect, even though she hadn't done it. Lt. Rines' paranoia wasn't necessarily her best attribute, but it was useful for an internal affairs investigator.

"I'm aware of the problem, Lieutenant. I volunteered to stay after the trade negotiations and help uncover the possible mole. My request was denied," Maya replied. "Yet here you are. Perhaps Starfleet Command should have had the foresight to send a security expert to the station in advance of these negotiations, rather than someone a month late."

Rines smiled cordially. "I have spent the last few years teaching at Starfleet Academy, and while I do not propose that I understand the intricacies of the time in San Francisco has certainly taught me that the people there are not as oblivious or ignorant to the needs on the front line. They are well meaning and have what statistician would consider the grandest logistical challenge in the history of almost any species you could name."

"I do not dispute that assessment," Maya replied. Loyalty was a trait she admired, even though she no longer personified it. "With that in mind, consider that, despite the influx of consultants and bureacrats on this station, Starfleet Command does not want to engender tensions between the frontline and Admiralty. If you give the crew here with the feeling that they can trust Starfleet to look out for them and support them, I believe that they will all be far more vigilant in terms of stamping out dissent amongst their own ranks."

She appeared to have some experience with this.

"I will cite your theory in my report," Rebecca said with a pursed smile, "understand I am simply a living recording device for Starfleet, I do not set policy."

Maya mirrored Rebecca's smile. Had she just met her twin? "I believe setting policy falls under the purview of the EOA," she replied. "Nonetheless, you can conduct a witch hunt, and leave everyone here with bad feelings, or you can make them feel as if you're looking out for their best interests."

"I only report to the EOA, Doctor. I am on direct assignment from Starfleet Command," she said, it was clear that she was glad of the facts she emphasized, "it should be noted also that I will do what is necessary to weed out the is unfortunate that my arrival coincides with the implementation of some unwanted levels of bureaucracy. If it is convenient to expedite the solving of this mystery for me to become a pariah to any particular individual...then so be it. Weeks after the report is lodged I will be back on Earth teaching and this station will be free of a traitor."

Unless there was more than one, but Maya did not share that thought, nor her belief that traitors were like weeds, and one would pop up whenever another was removed.

Regardless, Rines' ends justified the means attitude seemed like an excuse to act as she pleased. Perhaps it would lead to the ends that the Lieutenant desired. Perhaps not. Or perhaps Maya was simply jealous that Starfleet had sent someone else to do the thing that she wanted to do.

"You're supposed to add - 'I'm not here to make friends'," Maya stated with a coy smile.

"Far too cliche," Rebecca said with a chuckle, and rather likely was already finding that it would proven wrong, "and I find the some people respond far better to friendship than other methods...although...becoming friendly with someone I had to later report as inadequate...or even traitorous...that would not be a position I would want to be in."

Maya was not expecting Rebecca to be so candid. She made brief eye contact with the Lieutenant, understanding that statement better than others.

"Everyone betrays someone or something at some point in their lives," Maya stated. "Short of treason or a grave dereliction of duty, such treachery is often forgivable, if not forgettable."

"Inadequacy, on the other hand..." the dark haired woman pursed her lips. "Is a particularly undesirable trait in a Starfleet officer. In the event that you don't find what you're looking for, Lieutenant, would you consider your performance nonetheless adequate?"

" something I have dwelt on a lot," Rebecca mused, "some back on Earth will not be happy unless I come back with a name. Others would rather know there was not even one. Good thing I am not here to make friends...either way, huh?"

"Indeed, though I doubt you are here to lose your friends at home either," Maya replied, "Nonetheless, if you need a non-friendly sounding board for your investigative logic, consider my door open."

She glanced back down at her work, indicating that the conversation was at its end. Considering this, she looked back at Lt. Rines.

"Since you will be thorough in your investigation, it is worth noting that Ensign Shimura was one of my students many years ago while I was a graduate instructor at Starfleet Academy," Maya explained. "Nonetheless, I have no vested personal interest in protecting him. One does not need to be a telepath to recognize he simply lacks the technical skills to disable our security network and the force of will to detonate a grenade that might cause his own death." She didn't think he was particularly mentally stable, but he wasn't a traitor.

"Noted," Rebecca said before pausing to think, "Shimura seems to harboring something though. I understand the patient doctor relationship I do not expect anything more to be said."

Maya considered commenting that all xeno-psychologists were harboring some sort of secret alien fetish, but thought better of it.

"Then I suppose we have nothing more to talk about, Lieutenant," Maya stated. "For now."

"Maybe next time we will discuss the intricacies of your assignment," Rebecca responded as she stood. A frown then creased her forehead. "You wouldn't happen to enjoy rock climbing would you?"

"I wouldn't know," Maya replied. "Shall we find out?"

"I will be in contact," Rines said with a smile.

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« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:58:12 am by John Reynolds »

Offline John Reynolds

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2012, 04:37:08 pm »
|Treehouse Lounge, Arboretum
|1900 Hours, MD 1

Given that it was such a big part of life on Kepler Station it seemed a little strange to Nikolas that this was his first time inside the Treehouse Lounge.  Life as Commanding Officer had just left him too busy.  Not to mention the fact that his drinking days were long behind him.  That wasn't to say that he was beyond the age where he could still enjoy himself.

"Senarian Egg Broth, please."  The elderly Trill ordered from the menu when the red-headed owner came by to serve him.  It was supposed to be good for your health and improve stamina so that sounded like a wise choice.  He waited at the bar while people came and went from the seats around him.  The girl who lived with Commander Rae worked here but Nikolas couldn't see either of them anywhere.  Not that he really expected to see Isis here.  It was probably strange enough that he was here.

Bridget set the broth down in front of him and offered a friendly smile, "can I get you anything else, Captain?"  She asked as something behind him seemed to catch her attention.

"Lemon tea would be wonderful," Nikolas answered, "thank you."  He could have quite easily had his dinner in his quarters, with Holly for company, or in the Mess with the Officers on duty but it was long over due that he make the effort to have more than just his work on Kepler.  Besides the crew here were more suspicious of their Captain joining them for a meal than he was used to.  Commodore Blake must have made very few appearances in public before his disappearance.

"Coming right up," she said before heading off to prepare the beverage.

"That, my friend, is quite a woman," said a quiet, familiar voice from behind Nikolas.

Nelwas slid onto the stool beside Nikolas, his silk suit glimmering a little in the lounge's evening mood lighting, though not as shiny as his teeth.

The Ferengi had already attempted to buy the Treehouse Lounge from its owner, though in the end had settled on providing some portion of their liquor from his stocks. In the end, that was a winning deal in the long term - the Treehouse wasn't exactly a money maker, and Bridget would still be around so that Nelwas could admire her... personality.

"Business sense. Fashion sense. What's not to love?"

Nikolas set down his spoon and turned on his stool slightly to look at the Ferengi as he spoke.  "The phaser she has a permit for and probably keeps under the bar?"  The Trill asked with barely a curled lip.  Just three or four weeks ago the appearance of Nelwas while he was eating would have been enough to ruin Nikolas' evening but the Ferengi had either become less frustrating or had killed his will to live.  He wasn't sure which.

"A woman with a little bite is the best sort," Nelwas replied, "But is that a sense of protectiveness I'm sensing? Captain Bakyr, you sly dog, you've got your eyes on that one, eh? Can't blame you."

"I'm protective of everyone on my station," Nikolas answered simply.  Although he realised that didn't dismiss the Ferengi's claim at all.  Taking another sip of the broth he added, "my main concern is the paperwork required if she shoots you."  There was a hint of a smile this time even though he was being honest.  Since he had refused to report who had taken out the Breen assassin the Admiral had tasked the EOA with revising the process of reporting firearms incidents.  Something his Security Chief wasn't going to be happy about since it would affect his department the most.

"Ah yes, one must be wary of ladies baring weapons on this station," Nelwas replied, "Particularly important delegates such as myself." He was, after all, now the most important Ferengi in the expanse.

"However, Ms. Shannon and I are partners... in business," he informed the Captain. "I'm sure she'd be hesitant with her trigger finger until the contracts are cleared."

"You had better hope that's true," Nikolas replied with a slow shake of his head.  He doubted that a contract would protect the Ferengi if someone decided he was too much trouble.  It certainly wouldn't protect them if the opposite were true.

With a twinkle in his eye, he added, "I've figured out her bargaining style. So if you want to woo her, I can tell you exactly how." The offer seemed almost sincere. "Men of our age should be allowed a bit of fun, right?"

"The only fun I have time for is this broth," Nikolas pointed out before taking another spoonful.  There hadn't been a woman in his life since his wife had passed away and for the most part that was fine with him.  She had meant everything to him and it had taken losing her to make him really appreciate the fact.

Nelwas noticed Nikolas slightly morose attitude, as the old Trill stared down at his bowl. "Broth will also keep you warm at night, but it isn't as soft as a woman," he commented.

"Men of our age shouldn't also be crying into our soup," the Ferengi said after a moment. "Who was she?"

Nikolas frowned over at the Ferengi, "brooding and crying are two different things."  He said with a slight hint of a pout.  He had nothing against men crying, and could be in touch with his emotions, but wasn't going to be accused of crying over his soup.  Least of all by Nelwas.  "Captains are required by Starfleet Command to brood in public."  The Trill added with a quiet laugh.

"I've noticed. I hear your predecessor was quite the brooder as well," Nelwas replied. Though also a ladies man, as rumor had it.

"My wife's name was Mary-Jane."  Nikolas finally answered without paying much heed to the comment about Blake.  He kept his eyes fixed on the now empty bowl in front of him.  "She and my son Kimmek were killed back in '64."

"My... ahhhh... condolences," Nelwas replied, raising his glass for moment.

"And you've been brooding for 23 standard years?" he added, almost shocked. "I believe you've earned a reprieve. Assuming it's all functional down there... and if not, I have an amazing herbal tonic from Risa..."

Nikolas sighed and picked up the tea that Bridget had brought while they were talking.  "I hope they're legal and I won't need to ask Lieutenant Reynolds to pay your shops a visit."  He warned.  After taking a slow sip of the lemon tea he looked back at the Ferengi thoughtfully.  "Twenty-three years is not a lot of time when you are mourning the woman you love."  Or when you feel guilty for your actions prior to that... their marriage had gotten back on track by then but there had been rough patches that he would always regret.

"Perhaps if you're a Vulcan," Nelwas replied, ignoring the inquiry about the legality of his tonics. "Many of us have loved and lost, my friend. The best part is that you then get to love again."

"I have a cousin who would be perfect for you. Great gams for a Ferengi. She's half Bajoran you see," he continued, "A widow. Her husband died when his latinum factory exploded. The good thing is she got to keep the latinum."

His eyes shifted to the hostesses pleasant face as she refilled his glass. "Not quite a feisty redhead, but what do you say?"

"Sorry Nelwas," Nikolas said as he stood up, "but I'm not in the market for anything you're selling."  With that the Trill downed the remainder of his tea and offered a polite smile to the Lounge's owner before turning to leave.  "Give my condolences to your cousin for the loss of her husband and factory."  No doubt the latter worried her more than the former.

"The thought that I would sell my own cousin, really..." Nelwas stated, slapping down a piece of latinum on the bar for the drinks as he followed Nikolas. "Trade her, maybe, but not sell her." He caught up with the man at the entrance.

Nikolas suppressed a sigh and an urge to call Security.

"You're still feeling sour about the negotiations, and I can't blame you," Nelwas explained. He had kept private about the nature of the agreement that made him the wealthiest man on Kepler. "Things certainly took a turn for the... bloody. However, look on the bright side." He put an arm around Nik's shoulder and turned him back towards the lounge, where a few young crew members were seated and frolicking, a few of them in rather stylish evening attire.

"Your people will love you if they only knew how much you really did for them," the merchant explained. "Why your yeoman purchased the most delightful apparel just yesterday, not that it would be polite to tell you what it is."

With a wide eyed smile, Nelwas turned back towards the arboretum. "Captain, the more you let yourself feel old, the older you'll feel. I'd like to show you how to feel young again! I owe you that much."

He really didn't want to hear about what Yeoman Pond might be buying from Nelwas' store nor was he sure he could handle the Ferengi's idea of feeling young.  But the idea that Nelwas thought he owed him was intriguing and explained the other man's obsession with this subject.  "You're not my type," the Trill said as he freed himself from Nelwas' grip.  "But if I humour you it might get me out of here faster."

"Come now, Captain. When's the last time anyone here took even the faintest interest in your personal life and wellbeing?" Nelwas inquired, "Other than that lovely girl I hear you've got locked up in your treehouse, that is...?"

"I don't have anyone locked up in my treehouse," Nikolas protested but then thought better of arguing further.  He wasn't surprised that word of the former CO's holographic wife had reached the Ferengi.  It was more that they thought she belonged to him that was troubling and could ruin his plans with Rexus.  There was no denying that the negotiation which had led to Nelwas becoming a resident on Kepler had been entertaining but there was still a matter of trust.  "Tell me, what do you actually want?"  He asked as his patience with this conversation finally wore out.

"Oh so many things," Nelwas replied, thinking about fresh grapes, a goblet of wine, and three Orion dancing girls, "But in the present moment, just to cheer up my only friend on the station. Why don't you come by the wine store tomorrow and I will tell you everything you need to know about Ms. Shannon? And bring your niece, or whoever it is that slave girl is, I'm sure she could use a new dress."

Nikolas rolled his eyes at the whole idea, "we'll see..."  He offered non-committally.  He wasn't sure who he felt more sorry for now, him for having led Nelwas into believing they were friends or Nelwas for not having anyone else to pester.  As the Ferengi grinned up at him Nikolas felt his resistance fading.  Nelwas was his mess to clean up after all.  "The station could be exploding or something by then but I'll see what I can do."  He added with a polite smile.

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« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 01:59:17 am by John Reynolds »

Offline Rexus Spokar

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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2012, 06:21:47 pm »
[Deck Eight - Promenade]
[MD2 - 1630 Hours]

Cadet Rexus Spokar was in love. 

Which is to say, he loved the frilly lingerie that accentuated the best of womanhood's many curves.  The mannequins that modeled the petite wear looked lifelike enough, but Rexus knew on a living breathing girl, he would have a hard time saying no to anything.  Why then was he here looking to buy his own kryptonite?  Perhaps it was the sadomasochistic side of him, he reckoned.

"Soooo... I would love to buy something like this for the girl I'm dating."  Rexus telegraphed to the Ferengi who had just opened up in the Deck Eight Promenade.  "But the thing is, she's fiercely independent and doesn't like me even hinting that I'd like to buy her stuff.  I think it offends her suffrage or something."

Nelwas simply flashed a knowing smile. "These Federation women and their currency-less society. They tend not to understand what it means to receive a gift that someone hard to make, or purchase," the Ferengi stated.

The poor boy could likely be convinced to buy the entire store, and Nelwas didn't accept returns. However, as a new proprietor, Nelwas needed a happy customer, not one who had forty pair of ladies knickers that his girlfriend wouldn't accept as gifts (unless of course Rexus wasn't opposed to wearing cotton and lace).

Nelwas consider the young man's dilemma for a moment. "Perhaps you should buy something for yourself then, which is also, in a way, for her," he stated, adding an explanation after Rexus' quizzical expression. "For example, when a woman purchases certain revealing intimate apparel, it is for the pleasure of her mate as much as it is for herself."

"We have similar items for our male customers," Nelwas told him. "She won't be able to keep her hands off of you."

"You're going to need to be a whole lot prettier and have boobs the size of Andor if you're trying to get me into a pair of lacy undergarments, friend."  Rexus remarked, not really understanding where the Ferengi was going with this.  "Seriously, we're talking frilly underwear.   Don't you have a girl who can walk me through this so I won't feel so... weirded out about it all?"

If Nelwas had eyebrows, they would have arched in amusement. "We don't get many male customers wanting wear women's undergarments," Nelwas explained. "Though perhaps I'm simply unfamiliar with Angosian customs?"

"Assuming you'd prefer something more masculine..." he nodded to the large Orion attendant across the room, who slid open the panels of an adjacent storage area. "Silk pajamas. Hand made in India." The pants were slim and sleek, with a distinct piping. "They project confidence and a certain 'old world' gentleman's style."

"So wait.  Back up."  Rexus cocked his head in though as he furrowed his brow toward the Ferengi.  "I buy some pajamas for me with the intention that after that, my girl gets something for herself?  As much a I like those PJ's, I'm not following the logic.  Should I just get her a gift card?"

"A gift card is for a man too cheap to afford a line of credit," Nelwas replied, "A man who buys himself fine things for the visual pleasure of his ladyfriend is giving her a fine gift indeed. You are the gift, young man, the silk is the wrapping paper."

He had the Orion lay out a matching button up silk shirt and vest.  Though Rexus didn't look all that convinced yet. 

"I dunnoooo..."  Rexus wheedled.  In his mind, he would have to find a way to get into these clothes with Kittiana in his place.  And he still hadn't gotten to the point where they even stayed together overnight yet.  He was starting to think he was jumping the gun.  The pajama's did look nice to him, though.  Silky smooth...

Nelwas glanced at his Orion gopher. "Go next door, bring me a nice bottle of Cristal. Cool." Then he turned his attention back to Rexus.

"A little advice, Cadet," Nelwas said, "Invite the young lady out. Tell her to pick you up. When she arrives, you're still getting ready... your hair styled but wet, your slick pajamas on." With a sweep of his hand. "You invite her in. Tell her to take a seat while you get ready. Chit chat a little. Your quarters are clean. Some music are playing... no candles, that's a give away. She starts to feel comfortable and then..." A clap of his hands, and the Orion placed a bottle of champagne in Nelwas palm. "You offer her a drink, something to wet her whistle before a night on the town."

The impressionable cadet could see this working.  She practically barges in his room every other time they go out.  The first thing she notices is his clothes.  The young Angosian was known for his overactive imagination and the Ferengi was taking advantage of it like a cute, drunk Ensign at the Officer's Club. 

"But trust me, my friend, you won't be stepping out that evening." The charming Ferengi set the bottle between the silk clothes that he had folded up for packing. "Now, will you be paying in Latinum or Federation Credits? Given the exchange rates latinum nets you a 4.8 percent discount."

"Yeah, that sounds good."  Rexus murmured, his mind still on the possibilities, barely aware that he handed the shopkeeper his Angosian Express card. 

Nelwas conducted the transaction, had Rexus sign on the PADD, while his Orion attendant packed up Rexus' PJs and champagne.

"And don't forget to tell her to stop by sometime to pick something up for you," Nelwas stated as he handed Rexus the package. "Have a lovely day, and a lovelier evening, Cadet Spokar."

Standing outside, with a chic bag with something soft and something heavy in it, Rexus blinked.

"Whoa, what just happened?"



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Re: A Tiny Oversight
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2012, 08:29:09 am »
|Transporter Room 2, Deck 10
|1129 Hours, MD 1

The sound of the Transporter activating greeted Nikolas as he entered the Transporter Room.  He was somewhat annoyed that he couldn't have greeted both Lieutenant Rines and Perim together, or before McAllister in the former's case, but that was beyond his control.  He was far too old to take part in a pissing contest with a man out to prove himself capable of overseeing everything happening within The Expanse.  Kepler Station was his priority.

And that was why he was here to greet the new Chief Intelligence Officer just as she stepped off the Transporter pad.

Elena never really liked to use the transporter, it was the thought of being broken down into tiny pieces, and then taken or 'beamed' in any which direction before being reassembled. Not only that but the former security officer had been through quite a few 'risky' transports in her time, so her feelings toward the damned machine were understandable.

"Lt Elena Perim reporting in for duty Sir"

She said in greeting toward her new commanding officer, as she stepped down off the pad.

"Welcome aboard, Lieutenant."  Nikolas replied with a polite smile.  "I hope your journey wasn't too long?"  His own trip out to Kepler Station had taken a month because his previous posting had been so far away.  The USS Solaris wasn't as far as Earth but was still patrolling a completely different region of space.

"Thank you Sir..." Elena wanted to say it was good to finally be here, however the truth of the matter was she wasn't happy at all. If Elena had it her way then she would be on the other side of the galaxy right now, in the thick of action, and well on her way to a promotion. Fate it seems had other much more cruel intentions in mind. "and no it wasn't too long only a few weeks, thankfully my last posting was passing through the area, before moving on to its current patrol route." In fact that was the only good thing about this trip and posting, Elena didn't have to hang around on board the Solaris for too long.

"Small blessings, eh?"  Nikolas asked as he gestured for her to follow him.  "I believe you were in Security prior to coming here?  Does that mean you haven't been brought up to date on recent events?"  He doubted there was a ship in the area that hadn't heard about the failure the negotiations had become.

"Something like that Sir." Elena said as she followed a long side Nikolas, after he had gestured for her to follow him. The next following questions were expected by the new Intel chief, just not so soon after she had arrived upon the station.

"Yes sir I was in security up until recently, and I have heard certain stories about the current events in this sector. I've also read as much as I can about Kepler and its personnel prior to coming here..." The next thing Elena had to say caused her to stop in her tracks for a moment, and gesture for Nikolas to do the same. "Sir may I speak frankly for a moment?".

Nikolas came to a halt and turned to face the other Trill.  "Of course, Lieutenant."  He was curious as to what would make her ask that so quickly into their meeting.

"Before I was assigned here, the reason as to why I am here was made very clear to me by certain higher ups back at starfleet headquarters. To sit behind a desk, fill out reports brief/debrief the crew, and generally keep my nose out of anything high profile...." Elena paused briefly at that point, and allowed her words to sink in before she continued. "In other words sir I'll perform my duty to the best of my abilities, and to the letter. But when it comes to the affairs of this sector, I don't really give a frak about stories, and half truths about what might have happened in recent months. If it’s important and I feel it needs to be reported then I'll report it, I won't go any further than that. I just wanted to make that clear before anything else was said...Sir"

Suppressing a frown Nikolas nodded, "I see."  That wasn't the sort of attitude he wanted from a Chief Intelligence Officer given the issues they had been facing lately.  "In my experience the stories that circulate ships and stations contain useful information.  And far more truth than the Admiralty likes to admit."

"Oh yes sir I understand..." Elena said with a nod. "and if I hear anything of importance I'll report it, even if it’s from a ferengi trader or bartender. I was just expressing my personal feelings toward this position I have been...given sir". Emphasis was placed upon the word 'given' as Elena used it, almost as if she didn't really have a choice after the whole, now classified, incident aboard the Solaris.

"Lieutenant," Nikolas began in the tone he reserved for those students who had appeared in detention multiple times in one week, "this station has been through the ringer over the past year.  Long before I arrived and long before the strange events that caused it to end up in The Expanse."  He fixed her with a firm stare that was very unlike his usual demeanour, "I honestly do not care why you are here.  Everyone has a different story and everyone has ideas about what being here means for their personal lives or their careers.  What I do care about is the well-being of every single life form on this station.  And if you aren't going to be of use in protecting them because of some grudge you hold about the way you arrived here then we may have a problem."

Elena nodded in understanding before she responded. "I understand that completely sir and I can reassure you that my grudge will not get in the way of my duty. I will protect the people of this station, even if it means my dying breath, then I will carry out that duty as every Starfleet officer should do. I just wanted to air my personal feelings early on, so there was no confused or misunderstanding down the line Sir".

"Alright then."  Nikolas said with a short, mostly satisfied nod.  "So long as that remains the case then we can avoid problems down the line."  He wanted to assure her that putting her life on the line wasn't quite what he had meant but given recent events he wasn't so sure their lives weren't on the line.  There was always risk in Starfleet but Kepler wasn't feeling as safe as he would have liked.  Even crawling with EOA and Security Observers.

"As soon as anything changes Sir you will be the first one to know..." With that Elena gestured her hand down the hallway. "shall we continue onward sir? I'd like to see my office first before unpacking my things in my quarters."

Nikolas decided not to point out that he wasn't a tour guide and simply nodded, "You may wish to talk to the Intelligence Representative from the Expanse Oversight Advisory," he suggested as they started on their way again.  "She was assessing the state of the Department this morning and may have some insights into where you can begin."

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