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Mystery Man Awaits

Posted on Wed Mar 22nd, 2017 @ 7:23am by Lieutenant Kazyah Linn & Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Mystery Man

Mission: S1E4 - Remnants Of A Lost Cause
Location: Brig - USS Vindex
Timeline: Mission Day 69; 15:00

The darkness began to fade as the pain immediately set in. He could hear the buzzing around him, but his mind couldn't quite place the location of the source. A groan slipped from his lips as he took a deep breath. His head turned to the side as he slowly opened his eyes to see that he was lying on the cot in the Brig.

"Fuck," he said, his breath soft and dry. "I'm still alive." His eyes looked out towards the forcefield that held him in the small room he occupied. The blue, transparent screen that locked him from the rest of the world like a criminal. And yet, that's what they thought of him now. A criminal.

He sighed as he turned his head back towards the ceiling. He was in deep shit and he wasn't quite sure how he was going to get out of it. The only person who knew the truth was dead and most likely unavailable to speak on his behalf.

Kaz sat up and immediately panicked, rolling off the bed on accident. He hit the floor with an oomph as he looked up at the man who was sitting at the end of his cot. "Who the fuck are you?" he asked the mystery man, his hand going to the back of his head to comfort the pain.

The El-Aurian man looked up when he saw Kazyah had woken up - he hadn't been waiting very long - and what might seem like a long time to many didn't to him because he lived for hundreds of years and an hour wasn't even a drop in the ocean. After standing up and walking around to Kazyah he looked down at the imprisoned man and began to talk.

"Who I am is none of your concern - but what I can do for you most definitely is, Lieutenant Kazyah Linn.'re currently facing charges of treason and the Captain of this vessel is already in contact with your superiors about having you removed from the Vindex at Deep Space 9 and incarcerated there until you're returned to Earth for a trial. But of course that's all avoidable as I can make it all go away - but you will have to do something for me in return - otherwise I'm afraid it looks like you'll lose your career and be stuck in a penal colony for say fifteen to twenty years?" the man said.

"Do you ever take a breath when you talk?" Kaz asked, annoyed at the man. "Get the fuck out of here. I don't need you," he said, sliding to the nearest wall and leaning against it.

The man was unnerved by Kazyah's hostility and knew he could make that fifteen to twenty years become thirty if he didn't agree to help the man out.

The man chuckled. "You're very ungrateful Kazyah - but I'm afraid that you do need me if you don't want to spend three decades in a penal colony. You see - I have my contacts in various places and if I don't get what I want from you then I might make some more charges appear on top of your already serious one of treason. If you're going to be rude then I'll leave you to suffer the consequences of your foolish actions. At least Tolan was clever enough to have a valid cover story."

Kaz got to his feet. While he wasn't much taller than the mystery man, Kaz did make it obvious that he was looking down on him. "Listen to me and listen to me carefully. I don't know who the fuck you are, but get out of my cell. I don't need you."

Clearly Kazyah wasn't going to take the lifeline the man was offering him - so he gave up and let him suffer the consequences at the hands of Starfleet. He wasn't wanted by his own branch and the man was confident no other branch would either.

"Suit yourself Kazyah. Just goes to show how foolish you really are - and how much you let my daughter down by allowing your own stupid petty vendetta against the late Commander Tolan to take control. Ah well - enjoy spending a few decades the penal colony. Just be glad it isn't Rura Penthe they're sending you to," the man said.

The man turned on his heel and instructed his young assistant he wanted to leave the cell. The young female Ensign dropped the forcefield and ensured the Commodore was out of the cell before raising it. The man then gave Kazyah a smug look before leading the way out of the brig and back to his shuttle.

"I want to speak to the XO," Kaz said through the forcefield to the woman standing guard. It had been a few hours before his guest had left and it was time to put his own plan into action. The fact was, he was innocent, and he could get himself out of this mess on his own.

The woman didn't move at first, just stared at Kaz.

The prisoner leaned against the side of bulkhead, "Please, I'm about to be convicted of high treason for following orders. And I'm not planning on fighting the charges. The least I could do is get a few minutes with the Commander."

For a moment, the Ensign still didn't move. But then she pressed a button on her console. "Ensign Wilkins to Commander ben-Avram. Please come to the Brig when you have a moment."

Akiva sat in his office and paused from his paperwork long enough to tap his commbadge. =/\="Ben-Avram here. Is there a security issue?"=/\=

"No, sir. The prisoner is requesting to speak with you," the woman said.

=/\="Tell Mr Linn to drop dead as a direct order."=/\=

The woman hesitated, but persisted, "Sir, with all due respect, could you spare a few moments?"

=/\="I'll be there within the hour,"=/\= Akiva said. =/\="My order still stands as given. Ben-Avram out."=/\=

After a trip to the restroom, a coffee break, a visit to an unconscious Biynah on her slab in the Machine Shop, and another restroom stop, Akiva finally made his way to the Brig. He noted Kazyah's holding cell and reluctantly walked toward it.

"Here I am." Akiva raised his hands expectantly and fixed his best smoldering glare on the disgraced Intelligence Chief.

"Hi," Kaz said softly, not standing up from the cot he was sitting on. "Thanks for coming."

Akiva crossed his arms. "You have 2 minutes."

"That's all you're going to give me?" Kaz asked, taking a stand. He took a few steps towards the forcefield, but stopped short. "Please, just..." Kaz shrugged, not really sure what he wanted to ask the man. "Talk to me. Hear me out. You're the only one I have left."

"You gave us the location of Saalkan's facility," Akiva said. "I'll grant you that, which is why--as far as I'm concerned--I'm wasting even those two minutes. Use them wisely. What did you drag me down here to tell me?"

"I can't prove my innocence," he said, closing his eyes as he realized that that probably wasn't the best opening line. "Look, the truth is. I can't tell you everything. Unfortunately, your security clearance isn't high enough, and despite the circumstances, I still have a responsibility to protect Starfleet Intelligence. But you have to believe me, I'm not a traitor."

Kaz turned and dragged the cot closer to the forcefield, taking a seat. He motioned for Akiva to do the same. "A couple months ago, I received orders to infiltrate the Consortium. Starfleet Intelligence didn't have a lot of operatives this side of the wormhole, unfortunately, so they had to rely on operatives they would rather not use. Me, for example. The circumstances that brought me to the Vindex should have kept me from engaging in this mission, but we didn't have a choice."

The first officer didn't so much as blink.

Kaz leaned back against the wall. "When I first discovered that there was a plan to take over the Vindex, I immediately tried to stop it. But S.I. was firm in their stance. I wasn't to intervene to save the Vindex, in any way. My role as an operative within the Consortium was more valuable to them than this ship." He stopped, hesitated was more like it. This probably wasn't what Akiva wanted to hear, but it was important. "I risked being found out when I woke you up and gave you the communication device. But more than that, I violated a direct order. Even if I somehow come out of these treason charges, I'm going to be courtmartialed for saving this ship. You can hate me. You can blame me for everything. But you have to know, Akiva. I risked the only thing I care about in the galaxy for this ship. My career."

"So what was that interrogation about?" Akiva asked. "That k-kiss?" He shuddered violently before continuing. "I had that chair dematerialized and--you know, it doesn't matter." Akiva waved his hands as if to clear away smoke. "I have dozens of people who saw you draw down on Starfleet personnel... a few others who saw you *kissing* that ben-zonah. Just what the hell do you expect me to think, Kaz?"

"I don't expect anything from you, Akiva," Kaz said, standing and walking away. "I just wanted to tell you the truth. Because..." He stopped, put his hands on his hips and turned around. "Because of everyone on board, I hurt you the most. But you're also the only one who knows that I gave you that device. And frankly, that's the only thing that can save me at this point.

"I was following orders until that I gave you that device. But from that point on, I had no idea what to do. I did the only thing I could think would help, and that was stay close to the man in charge. And when he suddenly took a liking to me, I knew I saw an opportunity to fix it. I was close enough that I thought I could easily kill him." Kaz leaned against the wall and slid down until he was seated on the floor. "But I was so wrong, Akiva."

A single tear drifted down the man's cheek, "At some point, your instincts kick in. Your need to preserve yourself over everything else. But what do you do when preserving yourself brings about an apocalypse like no other?" He looked up at Akiva, "You fight. You stop it. And you do whatever it takes to save the world. I'm sorry this happened to us, but I won't apologize for my part in it. Because if it weren't for me, everyone who was taken to that facility would be dead."

Kaz stood, his anger beginning to boil. "Don't just stand there, you smug son-of-a-bitch. I saved this crew. I saved this ship!" he screamed. "And now it's time to save me."

"Tell the JAG what you told me," Akiva said, "and I'll share my part under oath. Until then," he paused to lean in close, "samti zayin alekha." He stepped away from the forcefield and added, "Look at that--time's up."
He turned a deaf ear to Kazyah's parting words on his way through the door.


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