USS VINDEX - NCC-2474-A
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Avenged Sevenfold

Posted on Mon May 1st, 2017 @ 9:04pm by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Kazyah Linn
Edited on on Mon May 1st, 2017 @ 9:07pm

Mission: S1E5 - Unknown Territory
Location: Akiva's Office - USS Vindex
Timeline: MD 82; 1445

"What the fuck is this shit?" Kaz asked, barging into Akiva's office without ringing the chime. He slammed the PADD down on the man's desk and stood there, his chest rising and falling with deep breaths as he tried to calm himself. "I'm being transferred back to Starfleet Intelligence?"

Akiva threw the PADD against the wall, then grabbed Kazyah by the collar and pulled him nose to nose over the desk.

"Excuse you, Lieutenant?" Akiva knew Kazyah could break his arm in a heartbeat, but he didn't much care at the moment. He fixed the upstart man with a penetrating stare and shoved him backward. "Let's try this again. You're our Mission Advisor as ordered by the office of the fleet admiral. Anything Starfleet Intelligence does -- well, I'm the last to know."

He sat back down and retrieved another PADD from inside his desk.

"With our newly promoted Chief of Intelligence currently being detained, it would seem there is some shuffling afoot." He let the PADD clatter across his desk toward Kazyah. "Seems she discharged her phaser the other night, and pending the outcome of the investigation, is likely to be sent up the river."

Akiva's eyebrow arched toward Kazyah with suspicion. "Are you going to tell me you had no involvement or knowledge of any of that?"

"I didn't," Kaz said, plopping down in one of the chairs. "I don't think me being back in Starfleet Intelligence is a good idea."

"We're about to have a senior staff briefing," Akiva said. "Is this really the time to stroke your insecurities? I really don't understand what good you spy types are anyway."

He paused for a moment. A pang of guilt flushed his chest.

"You should know something," he said, looking away. "After our last conversation... I was left with more questions than answers. I went to Lt. Ghatto in hopes of filling in a couple of blanks. We parted with an uneasy alliance to help one another uncover what's really going on. She said she was going to shake the tree as hard as possible. That was just a few days ago. Now... it looks like she's been... in your espionage parlance... 'disavowed' on a trumped up charge."

"I'm aware," Kaz said, sitting back in the chair. "My insecurity about my standing with Starfleet Intelligence caused me to monitor the activities of your Intel department. I had to be sure no one was being ordered with my assassination. And before you say that S.I. wouldn't do such a thing, remember that at one time, I was the person they called for such a job."

"So, what now?" Akiva asked. "Your superiors remove a nosy operative for sniffing too close to the truth only to replace her with a rogue one they previously disavowed? Tell me what I'm missing."

"That's what I'm saying!" Kaz said, almost yelling at the man. "This is concerning, Akiva. Very concerning."

"What I'm saying is that while you have the luxury of speculation, I am completely in the dark here." Akiva kept his volume down, but his voice was no less urgent for the effort. "Spell it out. What are we in for?"

"To be fair, we don't know if Ghatto will be removed," Kaz said. "No one forced her to shoot Dedeker, though. It would be quite the coincidence if Intel wanted her removed and she just happened to do something court martial worthy. And I don't believe in coincidences."

The man continued to sit there and think for a moment, "If they wanted her to be removed, my orders would say a permanent transfer. As it stands, I've only been given temporary command of the department and barely enough security clearance to oversee those under me. I don't think the two are related at all. I just think it's an opportunity that someone in Section 31 has decided to seize."

"She never mentioned Section 31," Akiva said, "nor did I. Unless they're being reckless, I don't know that they're responsible. But, as you say, if Intelligence simply wanted her removed, then it would've been cleaner than this... or I'd like to think. If this is too sloppy for either Section 31 or your superiors back on Earth, then could we be dealing with a... 'third' third party?"

"See, I don't think this was sloppy at all," Kaz said. "She may not have directly mentioned or uncovered anything related to Section 31, but it can't be a coincidence that I was chosen to go back to Intelligence rather than promote a new officer. Chief of Intel is an administrative position, any good officer can do the job. Why put someone with my talent and ability in such a position when I already had free reign over the ship as a Mission Advisor? Unless they needed me to have a higher security clearance for something."

"So we're back to square one: knowing something is afoot without having any idea of what it could be." Akiva covered his face up to his nose with folded hands.

"And I don't have the clearance to find out," Kaz said with a sigh of defeat. "What did we get ourselves into?"

"I don't know." Akiva cracked a wry smirk. "I think I liked it better when you were facing the gallows."

"Honestly, at this point, I'm inclined to agree." Kaz stared into the distance, his thumb idly sliding over his lower lip.

"This is just like in the holonovels," Akiva quipped. "Only we don't have the benefit of knowing who the bad guys are."

He froze at the sound of his own words. An idea sprang to mind.

"Hold a moment." He accessed his desktop console and pulled up an image on the vidscreen. It was a still frame of surly older man in commodore pips. "Do you know this man? He all but threatened me before when I attempted to vet your claims."

"Until recently, I was blind," Kaz said, looking at Akiva like he was an idiot. "I've never seen the man's face before. Do you have an audio clip I can listen to?"

Akiva chewed his lip in embarrassment at the oversight. "Ah, yes. Just a moment." Akiva replayed the end of the transmission, as it was the only part he was able to record. It included the ominous threat of continuous oversight.

Kaz nodded, almost instantly, upon hearing the man's voice. "That's Commodore Lathum, my former superior officer at Starfleet Intelligence," he said. "I suppose he's my new superior as well. My new orders came from him but did not include any explanation for them."

"Interesting." Akiva turned off the vidscreen. "He neglected to mention that."

"When did you speak to him?" Kaz asked, leaning forward.

"After I first came to see you in the Brig." Akiva traced a circle on his desk as he thought. "I recall you were angry."

"I didn't realize that's who you spoke to," Kaz said, looking down at his feet. He sighed, his fingers idly playing with themselves.

"Tell me how he factors into all of this," Akiva said. "Whose side is he on?"

"I don't know, anymore." Kaz looked back up at Akiva. "I figured he'd be on my side, but if he's the one you spoke to, then he's the one who who disavowed me. And that makes this entire situation all the more confusing."

"Oy vey." Akiva took in a deep breath and released it slowly. "I suppose all we can do is watch our backs. Perhaps we can start by seeing what Lieutenant Dedeker knows. Maybe your predecessor let something slip to him."

"I've heard that man is an idiot," Kaz said, standing up. He walked around the room for a few moments. "Alright, we'll talk to him. Seems he's the only lead we have, at the moment."

"Want some backup?" Akiva locked down his computer to join Kazyah near the door. "Lieutenant Cusack's report indicates that Dedeker was less than forthcoming with her."

Without saying a word, Kaz just nodded to the man.

"At any rate, we'd better head to the briefing or we'll be late," Akiva said. "I'll take a direct route while you take a scenic one. Best we're not seen arriving together."

"Heaven forbid people think we don't hate each other," Kaz said with a smirk as he walked out of the office.

 

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