Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in Sausage and Scuttlebutt
Posted by Captain Zachariah Cobb (Commanding Officer) in Sausage and Scuttlebutt
Posted by Lieutenant Casela Synthi-er (Counsellor / RTF) in Sausage and Scuttlebutt
Zachariah brought the glass to his nose and savoured the aroma. “Your recommendations are top notch, lass,” he commented appreciatively as he took a first, delicate sip.
The mention of their new Ferengi Science Chief, however, saw him downing the remainder of the glass in a desperate gulp.
“A curse on whoever at the ARU thought it would be entertaining to send me a bloody Ferengi to head up my science division!” he spat. “I mean, by the gods, Cas! Do they not consider me to have enough problems already?”
At that Casela remembered something Raauhl had said on more than one occasion, and thought within her presence too, trying to rile her no doubt: “I have heard it said, Zachariah that the ARU was better guarded and more effecient at secrecy than Section 31. If so, how in the name of the four gods of Betazed did a Ferengi get placed into the ARU on the officer exchange program?”
Zachariah shrugged, but then almost immediately a thought seemed to occur to him - a thought that turned his face a rather sickly shade of pale.
“Heavens, Cas. Could all of this be my fault?” he dared to venture aloud. “I knew I was taking a risk allowing Olash and his men inside the containment deck. But I had a bloody good reason for doing so and it’s a reason I stand behind even now. But still,” he winced at the effort to continue such a damning hypothesis, “could Olash have used what he saw here as currency with the ARU? Allow one of our officers onto your ship or else we tell the whole quadrant what lurks behind the Leviathan’s closed doors?”
He shuddered and emptied his glass.
She shook her head. “No I don’t think it was Olash or our agreement with him. I forget which rule at the moment but there is a rule about discression and profits. But think about it....The Ferengi already knew about Sandman, and apparently Lazol has been working with anomalies for awhile. At least that’s the impression I’ve been given. But look at Remington. He got here by tracking the paper work and then blackmailing an admiral. ARU is not as well hidden as we were all led to believe. So no, Cobb I don’t think it’s anything you have done.”
His now familiar signature of exasperation - a heavy sigh followed by a hand run raggedly through his hair. And then Cobb savoured his drink for a moment and shrugged.
“Still, he seems to know his stuff where anomalies are concerned. And his connections, I am led to believe, are more impressive, even, than Olash. Perhaps he can be of use if we approach this relationship from the right angle?”
His expression invited Casela’s own opinion on the matter.
- Captain Zachariah Cobb
Casela grinned and it wasn’t quite pleasant. “Oh yes. I’m working on that. As I said I’ve made a little business arrangement with him. We’ll see where that goes. As of this far he’s only aware of what ARU knows about me. Which is nothing. What the crew knows about me is a totally different thing. But so far no one trusts him. But such as things go on this ship. You have to earn trust. And that’s not a bad thing. As for the science I’m sure he’s more than capable and we may have lucked out there as long as we can get him to see it our way.”
“Well we’ll see, but we’ll have to tread carefully. He’s not stupid. I have a....tentative business arrangement with him at the moment.” She held up a hand to stop the concern and outpouring of it that she knew would come from Cobb. “Right now it’s simple. He’s going to get me a knife I want, and I’m going to tell him what the Federation knows about him. Not really a risk since he already knows about himself. Now let’s look at his marching orders.” She pulled the information up on her display and turned it where they both could see it: the transfer orders and directive straight from Rear Admiral Vincent T. Jansson reading “DaiMon Lazol is to, hereby and henceforth, assume the duties of ARU Chief Science officer onboard the USS Leviathan retaining his rank of DaiMon equivalent to a Starfleet Captain as well as duties of an Ambassador of the Ferengi Alliance. Do whatever needs to be done to further the understanding of the anomalies. When in regards to ARU matters Lazol is the highest ranking person onboard and has control over what is done with the anomalies and has discretion with their future.
“Alright let’s break this down he’s the new CSO which means he’s in charge of science, and in that there is no real danger. He’s a man of science and he works methodically and carefully. The problem I see is in him trying to use this position for profit. And he LOVES latinum. I had drool left on my couch after he got a look at the stash I keep in here. But safety of the ship still falls to you, even if the information learned on the anomalies is above our clearance level. So if he endangers the ship you can and will still put a stop to him. We can’t make him tell us what he was doing but we can stop it.”
“If we find out about it,” Cobb countered. “But how much damage could he do before that moment, eh?”
Casela nodded conceding the point. “But that is what this ship was built for so hopefully those precautions and systems will mitigate that factor. We can hope.”
“His rank, well you know how I feel about rank, but is of no matter. Manhattan is a captain as well and you two get along well. Two captains outrank and out vote a DaiMon. As for being an ambassador of his people, that just means we have to be diplomatic. And you know that Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip (OOC: Winston Churchill). So no problem there. I’m sure Cmdr Raauhl and his diplomatic Trill tendencies can do that, and if not between you and I we can convince Lazol of it.”
That brought a hearty chuckle from the captain’s lips. “We both know that, when faced with an anomaly, the chain of command is about as much use as a cardboard phaser rifle,” he shrugged as an agreement with her own indifference to rank. “He could be bloody grand master of the universe for all I care. Because at the end of the day, there is only one person in charge of this ship. And that’s me.”
Convincingly said. So much so that Zachariah almost believed it himself.
Cas’s whole face kind of lit up at that. She didn’t say a word, but in that moment she was expetionally proud of Zachariah and honored to call him captain. She knew he was still in there and she didn’t want to embarrass him. She winked as if to say damn straight you will
“Do whatever needs to be done to further the understanding of anomalies. So anything that he does, if not to that goal he is in violation of the admirals orders. We shall take note and put a stop to it. I’m very good at writing reports to get what I want with very little evidence. This part won’t be a problem. Selling them off or access to them is not increasing understanding.
“Aye, now we get to the heart of it,” Cobb sighed. “If he’s going to revert to his baser tendencies in any manner then this will be the most likely end. And I’m not going to lie, Cas, the thought of him trading access to these monsters with nary a thought to the wider consequences should they escape fills me with a horror I can barely describe!”
She latched on that with a greedy look in her eye. “EXACTLY! Why can’t we convence Lazol of the same thing you convinced Olash of? That getting others to PAY him to take the anomaly AWAY is more profitable than seeling them off? I mean, it’s not ethical, but he could even sell the technology that he develops to others to protect themselves from the anomalies. While still keeping them contained on board or at the starbase. We can turn his need of science and profit to our gain. Let him broker deals where they pay him for us to take it away. We do our job, it fills his pockets, and it’s all according to the Brass’s orders. Right?” She waits to see what he thinks about this.
“Are you suggesting we turn ourselves into mercenaries? Approach these anomalies as if we’re no more than hired hands, out to make a day’s pay?” For a moment his expression was one of seeming horror, but slowly a wide, and mischievous, smile, spread across his lips. “I like it!”
“When in regards to ARU matters Lazol is the highest ranking person onboard and has control over what is done with the anomalies and has discretion with their future. Now this is the tricky part; ARU is science. RTF is security and containment. These orders do NOT give him access to RTF. So if he wants to work with the anomalies he either has a FULL squad of RTF with him on the containment decks OR a full squad in his labs to protect the ship. Now this is what we already have in place, now we will just need to go over the top with it. As for his discretion of the anomalies futures, sure he can do that, but only if RTF deems it safe to do such a thing, since they are responsible for that. I suggest we increase security clearance and by that I mean, Lazol’s clearance gets him into the labs but denies him access to the containment and RTF decks unless escorted by Manhattan or yourself, or whomever either of you deem necessary. He thinks he’s going to run this ship. So let’s keep his little kingdom to the labs.”
It was a lot of information, but Casela never wasted time on making a plan.
Lt. Synthi-er, CNS
One hand raked tentatively through his hair, Cobb let out a long whistle. “I hate to say it, lass, but here’s where you underestimate him. You are right that the RTF has a definite presence on the containment deck and, from what I know of Lt Surda, she’ll have no desire to be changing that any time soon. Nobody knows how to handle these things better than Manhattan’s crew and there’s not a damned person on this ship who doubts that. But his labs?” Another exhale, tempered this time by fiery liquor. “Cas, even I can not gain access to his labs without invitation. Or McHarrie’s, for that matter. Although so far his door has remained reassuringly open.”
He got to his feet, over come by a desire to pace the room, to dissipate some tension through strong, determined movement.
“This has never sat right with me, Cas, you know that,” he attempted to explain. “But what can I do? It’s been made clear to me from day one that, where the laboratories are concerned, their business is none of my own. Or yours, for that matter,” he added, shooting a nervous glance in the Counselor’s direction in anticipation of a verbal protest.
“And you also know better than to discuss clearances aloud, especially after…last time.” There was no call to explain further. It was a curse that they both shared, to be forever haunted by the Shadow.
“So let me just say this - where the anomalies are concerned, the ARU will place far more trust in Lazol than they will in either of us. Now I know, I know,” he held out his hands in placation, “that’s akin to a kick up the rear with a flaming, steel-toed boot. But we’re not going to best our new CSO by working against him. As much as it may pain us to do so, my advice is that we work with him. Alongside him. Gain his confidence. Provide him a safety net so that when he falls…and he will fall eventually, we can use that net to contain him the same as we would with any dangerous creature we have the misfortune to encounter.”
- Captain Zachariah Cobb
Cas nods, “Yeah we’d be fudging a bit, but there are RTF members who do have access. We can’t deny him access and we won’t but we can make it annoying. Make sure there are extra safety protocols in place. Especially since Dave got out. It’s a chess game, Zachariah. McHarrie has the same level as him, and don’t forget he’s S31 too. He’s closer to being out than I am, but he has the skills. Lazol may be CSO but McHarrie has the same level clearance. He’s a good officer and a good man. He would keep an eye on Lazol and tell us if he’s endangering the ship without breaking clearance. AND don’t forget, the whole science section can be kicked if needs be. We don’t need to get in, just contain anything dangerous he might do.”
“Aye, McHarrie might be our trump card in all of this,” Cobb agreed. “And I’d wager he’ll be sweeter with you than he would with me. So keep him on side, eh? As a favour to the whole ship as well as to yourself?”
Now she stopped and rolled her eyes. “But as you and your XO keep trying to tell me....not everything is a fight. It may be that Lazol is a decent person as far as Ferengi go. And I’ve met some and so have you. Olash was a good person to work with. Karra is an amazing woman and a genius at business. That doesn’t make them bad. There might be more to Lazol than we realize. Or not. So we can give him free reign until we know, or keep him on a short leash till he earns that trust.”
Lt. Synthi-er, CNS
“Cass, you’ve been around me long enough now to know that I take people as I find ‘em. And you’re right that, occasionally, the odd Ferengi can prove to be…surprisingly amicable. But there is something about…” he sighed and shook his head. “Oh, I don’t know. Innocent until proven guilty, I suppose?”
Settling back into his chair and eagerly refilling his glass, Cobb regarded Casela intently before continuing with, “Of course, Lazol is not the only new face to be found on our decks. And I am very interested to hear your professional, and maybe not quite so professional, opinion of our new Chief Medic, Mr Knox.”
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