USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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A Familar Face

Posted on Sun Oct 2nd, 2016 @ 3:09pm by Captain Claudia Ainscow & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant JG Kevran

Mission: S1E1 - Booby Trap
Location: Deck 1; Observation Lounge
Timeline: Mission Day 7; 16:00

Claudia had arrived in the observation lounge where she had asked Kevran and Akiva to meet her after she'd met with Captain Hutchinson in her ready room. She figured a less formal place would be more suitable for Kevran and Akiva to get acquainted.

"Sorry for the slight delay gentlemen. How are we both this afternoon?" Claudia asked.

"A little surreal, to be honest," Akiva said Claudia. "This mission has not at all shaped up how I anticipated." He turned to Kevran. "Shalom to you," he said with a nod.

Kevran simply nodded toward his superior in return. "I am amiable, Commander. And...yourself?" His eyes lazily wandered to face her.

"I'm well thank you...or at least as well as I can be. I called you both here so we can all get acquainted. Normally I wouldn't have such a meeting but Mr Kevran has offered to act as a Mission Advisor to the Vindex as well as his position in Science - I personally feel this would be beneficial to all parties involved. What do you think Mr ben-Avram?" Claudia said.

Akiva looked askance at Kevran, then glanced at Claudia. "I would agree," he said cautiously. "Although the matter of loyalty has been presented to me. I know Starfleet is above base prejudice, and that neither would Command assign us an obvious security risk. Allow me to ask, point blank, Lieutenant Kevran: are you loyal to Starfleet, and by extension, to this ship and her crew?"

Kevran smiled that practiced, casual smirk he nearly always had when speaking with company. "I find your question fascinating," He placed his fingertips together as he glanced to Akiva. "And entirely merited. The Dominion respects it's treaty with the Federation, though you cannot be blamed for skepticism." He stated jovially. Apparently, this was the closest thing to a joke Vorta were capable of. "This may be...difficult to understand, Commander, but I shall endeavor to be forthright." Kevran paused for a moment, searching for the proper words.

"My loyalty, Commander, is to the Founders. Now, and forever, and this cannot be changed." He spoke matter-of-factly, meaning no offense, and giving no air of dramatic gravitas. "And it is the Founders that have given their blessing on this assignment. Their will is for me to serve here, and all that that entails. You see, to betray you, would be to betray the Founders, and that is unthinkable."

"Then I can conclude that you are the least likely crewmember to betray us to the Consortium," Akiva said. "And, for the record, I had no personal qualms." His eased his disposition a bit, gestured for Claudia to continue, and leaned forward to rest his hands on his knees.

Claudia nodded and clasped her hands together before resting them on the smooth glass surface of the table. She was pleased that Akiva was happy to work alongside Kevran - and also come to the conclusion that Kevran's beliefs would not allow him to betray the Vindex's crew or the Federation.

Claudia replied. "Agreed Commander. I believe it may be wise for you both to work together to try and find who's sabotaging this ship. The longer this goes on the more likely it'll be they sabotage one or more of our critical systems"

Kevran bowed his head submissively toward her. "I assure you, Captain, it shall be done."

"Since the Consortium threatened Dominion space before it infiltrated Starfleet, I do see the value in a Vorta's assistance with the investigation," Akiva said with an amicable nod. "It may even be the conclusion of this conflict will see a more permanent and lasting alliance between the Federation and the Dominion."

Claudia was pleased that the two gentlemen had agreed to work together to locate the traitor amongst her crew. Having a Vorta on board would certainly prove advantageous to the ship - even if Claudia had heard of a number of crew being quite unsettled by it. She would do her utmost best to make sure they knew Kevran was firmly on their side and would absolutely not betray them. Claudia smiled at Kevran before turning to face Akiva.

"I do hope so. This conflict has already gone on for long enough as it is
- not to mention how many casualties there have been on both sides. Do you have any possible leads on the traitor yet Mr ben-Avram?" Claudia asked.

"My primary suspects have transferred out," Akiva said. "Which is more unsettling than it should be. I do not have sufficient evidence to send word to their new postings. I am beginning to wonder if perhaps there is not some sort of network in place where saboteurs may be shuffling themselves between ships in order to cover their tracks as well as gain insider information about each loyal vessel. That could mean our original saboteur is long gone, having turned over their operation to another traitor--or traitors." He turned to Kevran. "If there is a conspiracy on board this ship, Lieutenant, it will require a patsy." Pausing a moment, Akiva went ahead and stated the obvious. "With the suspicion already cast your direction, it would not take much to blame you. I suggest we use that to our advantage and possibly draw the spies out of hiding."

Kevran looked from Akiva to the Captain, a strange expression on his face. "Logical. I agree with the Commander, Captain." The insinuations did not offend Kevran. The Vorta were most well-known in the Federation for their skills in deception. Well-earned skills, and rightfully utilized in scenarios such as these. "I would be glad to. If there is a...ring of saboteurs, I will do my best to ascertain it's members and associates." Kevran seemed to look away and stare off into nothing, his violet eyes shifting their focus around the room as he spoke. "An operation of this type will require a...delicate...touch." Clearly, he spoke from some form of experience in such matters. "How do you wish to proceed?" Kevran asked, returning his focus to his two commanding officers.

"Well, the senior officers of every department are already aware of a potential saboteur," Akiva said. "The captain, the chief engineer, and myself ran afoul of a nasty surprise a few days ago. What I suggest is that we leverage the, hm, confirmation bias inherent to Lieutenant Kevran's position here. We don't encourage prejudice, but neither do we stamp it down--at least for now. That way any saboteurs would be more likely to let their guard down around Kevran, whether it's just making a foolish mistake or even offering collusion." Akiva shrugged. "It's a gamble, but I think right now it's our best play."

"I shall endeavor to make myself...available, Commander." There was just a hint of disdain in his last word, as if something about it had been unappetizing. "I'll attempt to familiarize myself with my fellow crewmen, and we'll...'see what happens.'" Kevran placed his fingertips together. The plan was not a guarantee by any means, but relying upon the prejudices was a remarkably useful tool. And often, the Vorta mused, an effective one.

Claudia nodded and thought Akiva's approach seemed like a good idea to draw the saboteur out so they could put a stop to the random - but brief - shut down of systems. The run-in that that herself, Soren and Akiva had with the saboteur was an unnerving experience and one that deeply troubled her - although Claudia did her best not to show it. For now it was on with their plan.

"We shall go with that plan - as long as you are sure Mr Kevran" Claudia replied.

Kevran simply nodded, indicating his willingness to go through with it. "With your permission, Captain, Commander, I will take my leave."

Claudia smiled. "As you wish Mr. Kevran. Thank you for coming"

"It was a pleasure," Akiva said, returning the nod.

 

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