Five Conversations

OOC Note: The following takes place after the Discord vacation RP event “What Could Go Wrong?”

Five Conversations

USS Iqaluit, Captain’s Ready Room:

Captain Bulkram Tog drummed his fingers on the desk and looked at Taza yn Ylom; the Tellarite had listened to her report with a scowl that threatened to become permanent. Though they were the only two in the room, they were not strictly alone; a wall screen showed a middle-aged human male with close-cropped grey hair. He also wore Operations gold with Commander’s rank insignia. A Vulcan female stood beside him. As Taza finished her report, the human spoke.

“Well, this wasn’t as much as we hoped for with this operation, but at least we now have a name to attach to our mysterious biogenic weapons merchant. But what possessed you to involve your friend? She and her companions almost derailed your mission.”

Taza gulped. “This one wasn’t counting on so many Nausicaans in Qob’s employ; this one thought he would only send a single person to make the exchange. Kass was close enough to reach this one, and this one knew Kass would do well in a fight. It was that or hide.”

The Vulcan spoke up. “Given the presence of so many enforcers, it is logical to conclude the lieutenant’s cover was, as the humans say, ‘blown’.”

“Mmm, yes. I’d say we’ll need to take you out of circulation for a while.”

Tog spoke up. “I’d be less worried if your friend hadn’t brought a murder-rodent with her.”

“That ‘murder-rodent’ is a member of the Kit, a species the Federation is considering for membership,” said the human. “None of the Nausicaans have died, have they?”

“No,” Tog replied with a snort. “Sickbay reports two of them need extensive surgery and a third needs some reconstruction to the face, but they’ll all live. More good luck than good management.”

“We’ll take all the luck we can. As for the Pakled ‘spy’, we’ll put his face and name on our list of known operatives. It should be easy to keep him from learning anything close to useful.” The human chuckled. “I have to say, the ‘crimson force field’ nonsense continues to be a good honey-pot for them.”

“There is the question about the human Merrick. Reports from Commander Vance and from your Sickbay indicates he was cybernetically enhanced.” the Vulcan said.

Tog shook his head. “Sickbay couldn’t make much of the implants beyond basic scans; they were more concerned with repairing all those claw marks before he bled out. We’ve got him in the brig now, and have strengthened the forcefields in case he tries to break out.”

The human nodded in approval. “Well, Starfleet Security will have some questions about his escape from Tantalus, and we’ll task Starfleet Medical to look into those implants of his. Anything else?”

“No sir,” Taza replied. “That was all this one was able to find.”

“Very good, then. Try to lay low for the next few months; we’ll contact you if we have another assignment. Starfleet out.” The screen blanked, and Tog closed the secure channel.

“Well,” Taza said with a note of cheer in her voice. “That was productive! All’s well that ends well?”

Tog grunted. “You were damn lucky that ‘biomimetic gel’ scam of yours got as far as it did. But using our medical supplies as bait?” He threw his hands up in frustration. “This plea bargain you’ve got with Starfleet Intelligence is starting to grate, Lieutenant. I’m thinking sending you to a penal colony to serve your sentence might be easier for my own peace of mind.”

Taza had the grace to look shamed. Tog sighed. “But, I have to agree with the Commander, you do find some gems now and then. So we’ll play the game a little longer.” He shifted to a more upright posture in his seat. “Now as to your punishment… Pilfering Starfleet medical supplies; endangering Federation and non-Federation citizens; conspiracy to commit fraud…”

Taza gulped. “Uh, do we really need to…?”

“You want to preserve that cover of yours, right? Letting you off scot-free won’t help with that.”

“Um.” Taza fell silent. “Y-yes sir.”

“Six weeks in the brig. And you are demoted to Ensign.” Tog held out a hand. Taza sighed and detached one of her pips, dropping it in the offered hand. Tog pocketed the pip and signaled for a security team. “Next time, don’t try for a scam; they keep blowing up in your face. That said… good work keeping it from becoming a total disaster. Dismissed.”

Ferengi Merchant Vessel Gonzi, Bridge:

“Another failure!” The Ferengi on the screen had seen better days; his suit looked worn, not to mention out of current fashion, and his lobes were misshapen; rumour had it a Klingon or a Jem’hadar had tried to rip them off. Behind the Ferengi loomed a Gorn. The Ferengi continued to rave: “I had buyers lined up for that gel! Do you realize how much I’m going to have to pay them now that the deal’s fallen through?”

The captain cringed a bit. “The pandronian called for help; I’m pretty sure it was a Starfleet trap; I’d have been arrested if I hadn’t bolted when I did.”

“Costing me more in bribes to erase your presence at the station, not to mention eleven very expensive Nausicaan mercenaries! I’ll be lucky to make even one bar of profit this quarter!” The Ferengi fumed for a moment. “At least we got images of her accomplices. Any idea who they are?”

“We couldn’t identify the furred creature,” the captain replied. “But we did get IDs on the human and Bolian. They’re Starfleet; attached to the USS Brahe.

On the screen, the Ferengi sat in stunned silence. “…the Brahe?!” he said, incredulity giving way to rage. “AGAIN?! I thought I saw the last of them after that fiasco at Rulian! They’re the ones who brought the brute that did this to me!!” He pointed at his ears. “After the FCA froze my assets, I couldn’t even afford proper lobe reconstruction! I can’t ever show my face in a stockholder’s meeting again.” He ran down, muttering. “And now they’ve ruined me a second time. I won’t let them get a third shot at me.”

“Qob, Y-you’re not thinking of revenge?” the captain asked, his face pale. “Remember, ‘never spend more for an acquisition–’”

“Don’t you quote the Rules of Acquisition to me!” Qob snapped. “No. I’m not thinking of revenge. But it never hurts to invest in a little insurance…

USS Iqaluit, Brig, Cell 2:

Merrick paced the tiny cell, glaring at the guard outside. If it wasn’t for the force-field he could snap that guard’s neck and be gone from here.

A human lieutenant entered the brig and said to the guard. “I’ll take over from here. Take a break.” The guard, thankful for the change, departed. Once the doors closed, the lieutenant tapped some controls on the guard’s station and turned to face the cell. “You’ve got five minutes.”

“Hah!” Merrick gloated. “I knew they wouldn’t leave me to rot–” He stopped when he saw the forcefield was still up. “What is this?”

“Someone wants to talk to you,” said the lieutenant, producing a PADD and setting it up so Merrick could see the screen. A waveform appeared on the screen, and a synthetic voice said, “You compromised the mission. This is not acceptable.”

“Vance was there! She’s the one who ruined everything, not me!”

My analysis indicates she was not involved with your mission. Your diversion compromised our operation. It led to your capture. You are no longer useful.”

“What?” Merrick looked between the PADD and the lieutenant, who Merrick saw had a phaser. “Now wait a minute, you can’t kill me! Not here!”

“Your death is not necessary.” the voice replied. A tone sounded… and Merrick collapsed on the cell floor, writhing in pain. “Starfleet cannot be allowed to study your enhancements,” the voice went on over Merrick’s screams. “You will return to the penal colony in the same state you were found when we retrieved you. Do not seek to contact us again.”

The pain faded, but did not go away entirely. Merrick lay on the floor, groaning, as he watched the lieutenant pick up the PADD. The voice continued. “Wait thirty seconds and then call for medical assistance. Insure no trace of this communication remains.

“Yes, Strategist,” replied the lieutenant.

Gorn shuttlecraft:

The single occupant of the shuttle keyed in a coded sequence and began his report. “Operative Nine-Ssseven-Fivvvve reporting. Confirmed sssighting of reported human-of-interessst at Ssstation Gee-One-Zzzzero-Sssixxx. Attaching imagggge.” A still frame showing Kassandra Vance fighting a Nausicaan appeared on the screen. “No further itemssss to report. End transssmissssion.”

Pakled Spyship Pakled:

“…how does the wolf’s ‘huffing and puffing’ relate to the Crimson Force Field? Tromtep will break this code!”

(OOC Note: The Ferengi Qob first ran afoul of the Brahe in the old Argo RP “Sunset Clause”)

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