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The Quiet before the Storm...Chief Intelligence Officer…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted Dec. 9, 2023, 3:43 a.m. by Lieutenant Commander Peter Sigmundsson (Chief Intelligence Officer) (Hjortur Ingi)

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Peter Sigmundsson (Chief Intelligence Officer) in The Quiet before the Storm…Chief Intelligence Officer…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Lieutenant Commander Peter Sigmundsson (Chief Intelligence Officer) in The Quiet before the Storm…Chief Intelligence Officer…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present

Posted by Civilian Jessa Novar (Child) in The Quiet before the Storm…Chief Intelligence Officer…When the past doesn’t match the future or the present
Posted by… suppressed (16) by the Post Ghost! 👻
While the intelligence department was not massive, Peter did have several people under him on the Atlantis. As with most intelligence officers, they tended to be more introverted and knew what to say and to who without direct orders.

=/\=Sir,=/\= a crisp female tone came over his comm badge. =/\=We have detected a change of venue in holodeck C. They requested a moratorium on beaming which I did grant. Do you want me to monitor it or do you want to take over?=/\= Intelligence officers had a knack for imparting far more information in a single sentence than any other profession. To anyone listening, the comment would sound benign however Peter would read the subtleties in the remark with the first one being the situation involving Jessa. The second informed Peter that the rule of Jessa activating her suit resulting in immediate transport to a secure location had been suspended. The other remark touched on wanting to pass the call to a superior.

Since it had become common knowledge within the ship’s ranks that Section 31 had had a presence in the attack, everyone was looking at any intelligence officer as a possible suspect. The woman on the other end of the comm call knew she had been vetted and cleared by the CIO because she was still in her seat. That did not mean she wanted to meddle in anything she didn’t have to with the situation.

Intelligence officer

Peter opened the relevant information on his console =^=I’ll take it from here Lieutenant, keep one eye on any changes in any case, I’ll see if I should involve myself personally=^= He read for a moment then activated the holodeck surveillance protocols and watched the child walk around what seemed like Earth with the soldier security officer, something he still found amusing on a ship with marines.

CIO

As the CIO settled into his seat he would see the conversation and scene taking place on the screen.

“The city. I need to try and reach Zalá and recall the Beacon of Hope,” Jessa stated confidently. “It will get me home and you will be rewarded for your bravery and honor. So which way do we go or can you just using that beaming thing so we don’t have to walk?” Much like a typical teen, Jessa had little desire to expend energy on things she did not value and right now she valued time. “So what do I do. Just announce, take me to a city,” she looked at Jacen. Jessa had no idea how the device actually worked and could not be as easy as just naming a place.

It was clear that Jessa was willing to take a mile from any inch. She was slowly changing in little ways. That did not mean she had forgotten why she came or had an unstoppable drive to get back home.

OOC: Josh “Jacen Flex” is caught up with real life so we can write this independent of that thread if you want. Feel free to post as you want and I will change it to Jack O’Neill for now so that we can have some fun. ~ Kate

Peter tapped his desk with his index finger as he watched the interactions between Flex and the child, he seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, being able to improvise and adapt to the situation. He might interject soon but he didn’t want to get involved immediately, there had to remain a balance of intelligence gathering against the mental health of the child. He was mildly amused at her religious arguments, he wondered how it would have been to make such arguments with the Elder he’d faced if she were still alive and hadn’t try to fry his brain with mental commands.

CIO

“Well there is a little bit more to it than that,” O’Neill stated with a small smirk on his face. Kids were always so impatient.

“Can you take me to the city,” Jessa stated looking up into the sky as if this would somehow that would open up the heavens for it to do her bidding.

“It doesn’t work like that kiddo,” O’Neill stated. “This is just smoke and mirrors. It’s a holographic space. It can be any city you want. It is meant for entertainment. Computer run program Disneyland.” Instantly the place turned from a home in Louisiana to an amusement park.”

Jessa’s face took on a confused expression. “So we are still on a ship,” she stated.

“Yes. Again this is just a program for fun. The only way to get off the ship and onto the planet below is by a shuttle or the transporter beam,” Jack stated. “So how about we try out Thunder Mountain? It’s a lot of fun,” Jack said actually with real enthusiasm.

The concept that there was a planet below them instantly made Jessa fixate on that and nothing else. If there was a planet below them, that meant the ship was moving. If Jessa could get to the surface, she might be able to recall the Beacon of Hope. The trick was trying to find a way to the surface without being discovered long enough to send a message and recall her ship. “Can we do that later,” she asked Jack. “I am actually hungry. Maybe we can get something to eat in that big eating hall?”

Jack eyed her for a second but nodded. “Sure thing but eating and riding a roller coaster generally equals vomiting.”

========
Mess Hall
========

Jessa sat at a table waiting for Jack to come back. Looking around she was very quiet taking in all the conversations in the room hoping to hear anything about an excursion to the surface. Pellan always said if there was a will there was a way and Jessa was very strong-willed.

Jessa Novar

Peter entered the mess, followed by a tall Andorian Lieutenant in a yellow uniform. The pair ordered some coffee and sat down two tables up from Jessa, both apparently not noticing the child as they spoke.

Jessa looked at Peter and opened her mouth slightly but did not say anything. He was not alone and completely absorbed in the conversation with the other person. She had only met the man once but he seemed to be open and right now Jessa needed friends.

“You’ll stay on the ship, don’t need two operatives for something so trivial” Peter said, the Andorian nodded at that

“You decide who’s going to go with you?” She asked which made Peter frown

“I don’t need a babysitter Zalle”

The Andorian laughed “Taugus III?” She said simply and Peter frowned even more but allowed a slight smile after a moment

“Cheap shot but fair enough” He huffed for a moment “Fine” Peter pulled out a PaDD from his inner pocket and tapped a few times

The room had enough background noise to blend conversations into a white noise however Jessa was close enough that if she concentrated she could pick out most of the words. The fact they seemed to be talking about leaving the ship made Jessa’s mind reel. Until this moment, she had given up hope of trying to contact the Beacon of Hope. There was no way off the ship unless by shuttle and she did not know how to fly their vessels or have the skills to get the hangar open even if she could steal a ship.

“Nash is probably still busy dealing with the aftermath, Trainor has Bridge duty during my scheduled departure” He said as he scrolled

“What, can’t you just pick a junior officer to go with you?” Zalle smiled and took a sip

“I am not spending six hours running around a planet with some twenty-three-year-old who replicates his uniforms with extra stiffeners and can’t hold up a decent conversation to save their life” He said grumbling into his cup.

That got an even bigger laugh from Zalle “Have you looked in a mirror lately boss? You look like you eat gravel for breakfast, not counting the fact that you’re the size of Makra, you know they still use your template during interrogation resistance holotraining at the Manor, you just sitting there staring at them tends to break freshies”

Peter shook his head “They don’t make them like they used to”

“Big, dumb, and ugly?” Zalle asked with a wry smile.

Peter ignored his junior officer and looked back at the PaDD “Talisse’s swamped with Marines and that also rules out Styxx, can’t steal their OIC for a little trip” He scratched his chin thoughtfully “But perhaps I’ll steal Mardusk, been wanting to spend some time with him” He tapped in maybe next to the security Chiefs name “Counselor O’Farrel is also an option” He frowned “I’ve been delaying my check-up so maybe not” He checked her into the negative column

“Ian Bordeaux” He mused aloud “I think he could use a break” He nodded to himself “Not much diplomacy when you don’t have anyone to…” He stopped at a hiss from the Andorian officer, she nodded her head towards Jessa and Peter seemed to notice her for the first time. He gave the child a mild smile then looked back at Zalle “I’ll speak with Commander Bordeaux, you requisition a shuttle for me. I’d like to be planetside by 1400.”

Zalle took a final sip of her coffee and stood up “You got it, boss. Try to bring the shuttle back in one piece this time” She said with a wide grin

“It was one time nearly a decade ago” He called after the cackling woman.

CIO & Zalle

“Jack may I have some ice cream,” she asked the man eating with her. In a normal situation, he would have told her to get herself but the fact she asked and not demanded spurred him to move.

Jessa waited until the officer left the table and immediately moved two tables up. Without fanfare or greetings, she slid into the seat Zalle was sitting in. “Hi. Do you remember me,” Jessa asked. The question felt more rhetorical than inquisitive. “I am Jessa Novar. We met in sickbay.” Jessa worked to try and appear casual. Her youth and inexperience made the attempt blatantly obvious she had an ulterior motive. “How are you doing today?”

Jessa Novar

Peter resisted the urge to grin when the child sat down in front of him, the easygoing banter he had with Zalle discussing exactly what Jessa needed whilst seemingly not noticing her, it’d worked better than he expected, he’d expected her to approach her father first before meeting with himself “I remember” He gave the child a polite smile “I’m doing well thank you for asking, and you?” He asked before taking another sip of his coffe, he put the PaDD down leaving it open with the list of Senior staff either marked with an X or V

CIO

“I am doing well,” Jessa politely responded. Her response sounded forced and desperate to her so Peter could probably pick it up too. “Jack introduced me to ice cream. It is not as good as,” she choked back the rest of her statement. Jessa needed to make friends and play nice. “As coffee but close.” The foods were still very foreign to her in this galaxy. Everyone she interacted with seemed to lament about wanting one or the other as a comfort food so hopefully Peter would accept her revision of her statement.

Peter smiled at Jessa’s clumsiness regarding Federation food “You should try coffee ice cream” He added with the same amused expression.

“Wait you have coffee-flavored ice cream?” Her age showed through as Jessa dropped the we are equal air of authority and stood up so rapidly she almost knocked her chair over. “Jack…Jack, make it coffee. Coffee,” she yelled waving her hand and repeating it like Jack was suddenly ninety years old and deaf.

His face wrinkled up at first before seeing where Jessa was sitting. “Peter,” he spread his arms open in a gesture of disbelief. “For crying out loud, you are killing me here man. You are gonna explain to the boss that this was not my idea Commander,” he stated Peter’s rank. The gesture was amicable and nothing more than banter. Jack liked what he knew of the new CIO so far and as far as spies and intelligence officers went, Peter Sigmundsson would fit in nicely with the crew.

Peter gave the man a friendly wink “I have no idea what you’re talking about” He called back in a teasing voice.

“He is getting me some,” Jessa turned slightly pointing out the obvious hoping it would divert Peter’s attention enough for her to look at his PaDD. As she let her eyes drift over the words on the page, her smile flickered into a frown. Jessa had not admitted or volunteered that she could not read their writing yet. That did not mean Jessa wasn’t going to find a way around this issue. “So any plans for the weekend?” The comment was a fairly typical question she heard people asking all the time. If she could get Peter talking about leaving the ship, maybe she could find a way to do it without anyone noticing.

Jessa Novar

A long time ago Peter knew someone quite like Jessa, she was also extremely bad at lying. Not just in the way children often were but there was an almost innocence as if lying wasn’t natural to them “I don’t know yet, never found it easy to make friends on a ship” That wasn’t entirely a lie, sometimes being an intelligence officer meant that people weren’t as open to becoming friendly as when he was in the Security Department but it would give Jessa a potential weakness to exploit “I’m supposed to go planetside tomorrow and regulation states you can’t leave alone and I only have one officer in my department, need someone onboard at all times” Also not entirely a lie, he could go planetside if he wanted alone but it was frowned upon. He turned the PaDD around “I was deciding on who I could convince, do you think Commander Bordeaux would be interested in a few hours of ship?” He asked.

CIO

“Yes,” she stated far too rapidly and with far too much enthusiasm as her mind raced with possibilities. Jessa still wasn’t fully convinced this wasn’t some elaborate hologram she was in especially learning they had a room with holograms so real one could feel the heat of the sun on your skin and smell the earthy scent of grass below your feet. Getting off the ship could be another hologram but if it was and it was that real how would she know the difference? Her head threatened to ache as she got lost in which came first the chicken or the egg debate before mentally closing it down with a physical shaking of her head. She had zoned out for a second and hoped Peter hadn’t noticed. For the most part, Jessa had learned that adults were not very observant around kids especially if they were quiet so her gut told he Peter missed everything.

Looking back at the man, Jessa suddenly let her body slump back in the seat, and her expression changed to one of false disinterest. “I mean I dunno. He is always doing something,” she pulled her attention off Peter and started playing with a fingernail as if the conversation disinterested her. Jessa needed to get off the ship with Peter but the question became how. Maybe she could convince Peter to take her instead of Ian but stating this directly would only cause suspicion or an outright no. If it was the latter, Jessa needed a plan B.

The preschool program Ian had given Jessa with the dancing stylus as a guide had shared a three-year-olds knowledge and interest about the ship. It defined basic terms and produced colorful maps about where things were. Since Jessa still could not read their writing, she would need an escort to find anything on her own but the program and the counterintelligence team stated there was a hangar on the vessel. A hangar bay meant there were ships that could circumvent the need for the transporters. If Peter was taking a shuttle, her Plan B was to stow away on it. “I don’t think Ian knows how to fly though. Are you a pilot,” she broached the topic hoping that Peter would somehow instantly be convinced to use a shuttle even if his plan had been to use the transporters. Raising her eyes up to meet his, Jessa struggled to maintain an air of disinterest while she clearly was hanging on to his next words.

Jessa Novar

Peter chortled “No I’m not a pilot but I can fly decent enough, used to Captain my own vessel in my private days. Had to learn how to do most things not unlike in the Fleet” He had an amused expression, he wondered how the child would try to get involved.

CIO

“I was supposed to start flight lessons but my feet don’t touch the floor. This is a problem because if I sit far enough forward to operate the console, I can’t fit into the restraint harness. If I sit back to use the restraint harness, I can’t reach all the controls on the console.” The sigh was deep and profound. “I tried to get around it wearing this huge platform boot things but it didn’t help with the console.” Jessa’s story was true and it suddenly gave her an idea. Maybe she would not have to sneak on board the shuttle.

Drumming her fingers on the table, Jessa tried to look bored. “Maybe you could show me how to fly,” she over emphasized her tone making it appear she had no interest in what she suggested but her body language was tense as she waited desperate to hear his response.

Jessa Novar

Peter’s smile and facial expression didn’t change but he felt the urge to smile sardonically at the girl. She had potential, give him a few years of training and he could shape her into a true manipulator, soon as she grew out of her childish tendencies she would outshine the manipulator who tried to fry his brain. “Hah, that should be no problem. You only need another 10 or twelve Centimeters to be able to safely pilot a shuttle on your own” He paused realising that she likely didn’t have human measurements ready for her. He put out his little, and index finger showing about five inches of space “Just about this much” He said with a chuckle.

“What if we attach something to my feet,” she suggested earnestly. “Kelly has shoes that are at least that high. I could tape them to my feet and that would make up the difference?” Jessa had always wanted to learn to fly but even back home she had been considered too young or too short based on who was giving the answer.”

Peter chuckled “It’s less to do with your feet and more to do with the reach of your arms, Most Federation shuttles are run mostly by using finger gestures on consoles. There are of course ways to get by that but It’ll be simpler to teach you the basics”

“You know since I think I’ll be asking Ian to join me why don’t I ask him if you can come along, it’ll be good for you to have some real gravity and proper air to breathe”

CIO

“You know,” Jessa wagged her head back and forth as if contemplating a thought. “In the Union, I am considered a diplomat,” she let her voice trail off. Peter was smart enough to connect the dots. There was no way Ian was going to let her leave the ship.

Peter watched the girl leave, when all this was over he was going to have to write a report on the potential she possessed, provided things would go as they should she could be a great asset for the Service.

===========
The next day
===========

“You know this is a really really bad idea,” Ian stated walking next to Peter on the way to the shuttle. He had arranged for Jessa to meet them at the shuttle so the two men could have a minute to talk. “I feel like we are playing Russian roulette with a lighter and stick of dynamite.”

The larger man chortled at Ian’s description “Don’t worry, provided there aren’t any external complications this time it’ll be fine” Peter said with confidence. He always spoke about his plans in such a way, never let them know what you’re thinking was the old intelligence axiom. He had to make sure that there wouldn’t be any further interruptions from the Section 34 elements again, they should all be dead but he couldn’t be certain. The child was more pliable without outside interference, Bordeaux was another potential issue but he could deal with that if necessary.

Entering the turbo, Ian waited until Peter activated the controls to send the vehicle to the hangar before hitting the emergency stop button. “Where is your head at from that meeting,” Ian asked point blank. The meeting he was referring to was the one they just left with Kelly and Admiral McLaren on the comm. It did not escape Ian how dire the situation was. Only a select few knew that the ship the aliens arrived on had disappeared and was not destroyed. An even smaller number knew that the dead body of the Elder named Rogan was picked up by the ship before it took off. Starfleet Command was divided on how to handle the current situation. Admiral McLaren’s group, who always had supported Kelly and her crew, wanted to concentrate on diplomacy and information from the child. Admiral Perkin’s group, the nemesis of Kelly and her crew, wanted to use the child as bait. As the war of Admirals raged on about a course of action, it was agreed that giving the child a better sense of the Federation might sway her to help rather than hinder the Federation.

Jessa Novar

Peter shrugged “Doesn’t change much, we always knew which way the admirals swung, this way we might be able to appease Perkins at least on a surface level, I mean this plan hinges entirely on misdirection and using Jessa” He said bluntly “I don’t think you should be overly concerned with Perkins, without Primrose and those other goons being capable of acting he can no longer be directly involved in how things go” He didn’t mention that it took an alien Incursion which they could hardly handle against only a handful of Elders in armour to be able to defang the Admiral. He also didn’t mention his part in getting rid of those goons, Primrose and an Elder, there were suspicions enough regarding him already. “Although the primary goal of this op is to discover what Jessa is trying to get to” Although he already knew the answer he didn’t know where or how yet “We can use the flight down and walk dirtside to continue building rapport with her, or at least I can do that, not sure how she views you after the last few days.”

CIO

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