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Unfounded Accusations (Backpost)

Posted on Mon Mar 13th, 2017 @ 11:48pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Commander Tolan
Edited on on Tue Mar 14th, 2017 @ 12:25am

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: Observation Lounge
Timeline: Mission Day 65; 19:30

Tolan had chosen to take his evening meal to the Observation Lounge so he could eat in the solitude of the quiet room before retiring to his quarters for the evening. He had chosen the soup of the day along with a couple of crusty buns to dip into it - with large helping of strawberry Swiss roll and custard for dessert. With some light reading the Suliban began to read over the latest mission report which Captain Ainscow had filed as he started to eat his soup.

With the end of the day approaching, Akiva thought to wrap up some loose ends before retiring for the evening. The Vindex would likely be leaving before too long, what with most of the reconstruction work nearing completion on Gavara, and he simply could not rest, either for the night or going forward, until he scratched an itch in his mind.

"Shalom, Commander," he said upon finding Tolan seated near the window. "I hope I am not interrupting you."

Tolan looked up and after placing his spoon back in the large bowl he placed his PADD on the table - marking where he was up to. The Suliban recognised the masculine voice immediately and he felt a little aggrieved that what he hoped was going to be a peaceful evening meal was now not going to be one of those. Instead he decided to engage his guest in the hope he wouldn't stick around too long.

"Good evening Commander. What can I do for you?" Tolan replied.

"I was wondering if you could help me with a few questions that linger in my mind no matter how I try to ignore them," Akiva said. He stopped at the back of a chair and deliberated between sitting and standing. With a sigh, he decided to stand for now with his hands placed on the seatback.
"Clear back to the battle at Unity, we had two officers taken into custody. I'm sure you recall. When it came time to question them, you circumvented protocol and harshly interrogated them yourself only to release them moments later. Why is that, Commander?"
Akiva kept his face neutral, though his eyes were probing.

"I've already mentioned this in my report to Captain Ainscow and to Starfleet. They were released when Ensign Andrews found the real culprit who was guilty of sending the message to the Dark Horse while I was in the middle of questioning them. It's not like that particular occurrence is unheard of Commander" Tolan replied.

"Except the logs don't match up," Akiva said, presenting a PADD. "The official logs do, but not the original redacted ones. A discrepancy of mere minutes may appear circumstantial, of course." The first officer coughed into his hand. "Your final report does not explain the reason for it, though. Could you explain it for me now?"

Tolan practically snatched the PADD from Akiva and analysed the information which was presented to him. The reason he gave for the release of the two potential suspects had mysteriously been omitted from the report - and almost immediately he tossed the PADD into the chair next to him and walked around the table to stand closer to Akiva.

"I've just told you what the reason was. This report has conveniently omitted what I've just said to you - which is the exact reason why they were released without charge - so I suggest that you go back to where you got it from and ask them or it why that part is missing. I even have the original submission to prove it...Commander" Tolan replied.

Akiva flinched but held his ground anyway. "There is no need to get irate, Commander. I am simply resolving some questions. I know of your special orders from Starfleet Command, and I will not interfere. Nonetheless, there's still some fashla on board the Vindex."

"I wasn't aware this was going to end up in you asking me questions I have already told you the answer to. As you can see I was in the middle of eating my evening meal and now it's sat there going cold. I don't like cold soup Commander" Tolan responded.

After offering his reassurance, Akiva retrieved the PADD and pulled up another log.
"This is your report from the Gavara mission, specifically, your sabotage of the power plant." Akiva raised an eyebrow. "Quite the feat to accomplish single-handedly. Disabled the power plant and steal a transport vessel back to the Vindex without raising any alarms? One might suspect you had some help, particularly given your 'special orders,' which of course would not make their way into an official log." Akiva paused a moment before pressing further. "Perhaps you could elaborate now, off the record."

Tolan replied. "Don't ask me questions that you won't understand the answers to Commander. You're treading into very unfamiliar and dangerous territory here and I have no desire to share with you what I am obliged to and do share with Captain Ainscow. If I was hiding something then I'm sure your friends from Starfleet Intelligence would have worked that out by now. I have been here for over two months and yet...nothing - because there is nothing to hide"

"Speaking of Starfleet Intelligence," Akiva said, once again pulling up another data file on the PADD, "it was they who confirmed your orders. Not Command. Sure, sure, it was the good admiral whose name was on the order, but it was delivered through an Intel channel." Akiva turned pointed. "Is there something that you had better tell me, Tolan?"

Tolan drew himself up to full height but kept his cool and calm tone of voice. The temptation was there to simply tell Akiva to go away but the Suliban had no intention of taking the easy route out of the situation and wanted to make things crystal clear - or at least make Akiva believe what Tolan wanted him to.

"You really don't know what you're talking about with all of this bullshit Akiva. I'm not hiding anything from you so you're just wasting your time and breath trying to get me to reveal something that doesn't exist. And besides - even though you're the first officer your security clearance level is lower than mine and the Captain's - so she wouldn't tell you either. She knows what she has to know from me and that is all there is to it" Tolan said.

Akiva swallowed his fight or flight reflex and stepped closer to Tolan. They stood nearly nose to nose.
"Let us understand something, you and I. Though I may talk small, Tolan, that doesn't mean your big boy voice scares me in the slightest. Something strange is going on around here, and I'm going to get to the bottom of it--with or without your cooperation. If I even think you're abusing your clearance to obstruct my investigation, I will have you hauled before the nearest Judge Advocate so fast your head will spin."
He slammed the PADD on the table to make his point, then shifted his eyes and took it back up again. "I'll be watching you."
The words sounded flat even to him, but with nothing else to say he turned to leave

"I'm not trying to scare anybody Akiva. I'm just here to help Captain Ainscow and this ship - but I have a funny feeling that any Judge Advocate General would probably laugh your case out of the courtroom before I've even entered it. And I suggest that you actually stop bothering me unless you have some constructive to say - good night Akiva" Tolan replied.

After watching the other man leave Tolan returned to his meal.


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