Posted by Civilian Kasmira Kassidine (FSA Agent) in Governor’s Office - A Grave Transmission
“Keep me apprised, Lieutenant…Computer, terminate transmission.”
The screen blipped, replaced with the foreboding black that reminded the aging admiral of his solitude. Cooped up in an office soaring high above the San Franciscan skyline, he was left to watch from the clouds as life pursued beneath him. Today, the drop seemed further than ever; grave news pinning his back to the chair. Pressing the tips of calloused fingers against his temple, he encouraged the stress away, but it was stubborn today. More stubborn than usual.
Arrik peered through the creases between his fingers, furrowing his eyebrows. Checking the chronometer, a sense of confusion came across his features, at once replaced with urgency. Good Gods. What now? He pressed the comm.. =^=Emaastren, here. What can I do for you, Mr. Lang?=^=
=^=There is a woman here to see you, sir. She says she has urgent business to discuss with you.=^=
Arrik had informed his staff that all drastic matters should be brought before him prior to their meeting. If this woman had something to discuss, and she was a member of his staff, he doubted her information was critical if she had chosen to meet in person, given their personnel were scattered across the quadrant on outposts and starships.
=^=I don’t have time for general Intelligence right now, Mr. Lang. If she needs–=^=
=^=It’s Ms. Kassidine, sir.=^=
=^=Send her up.=^=
Removing his hand from the comm, he sat back, contemplating Kassidine’s demand for a meeting. His thoughts were interrupted by the chime and its high-pitched squeal. Pressing the palms of his hands against his desk, he pushed himself up. “Come in!” He barked, watching as the doors peeled open to reveal the lithe figure of a woman he had not expected to see again. “Commander Kassidine,” He greeted.
“Retired, Admiral. Please, save the formalities.” She slipped past the doors, dropping a PaDD on his desk. “I trust you’ve been apprised of our current situation, Admiral?”
“You must think little of my staff to believe they haven’t relayed the data to me, Ms. Kassidine.” Arrik pursed his lips, gesturing for the younger woman to take a seat.
“Habit, sir.” Kassidine waved it off. “In that case, you know how dangerous this predicament is. This man could easily destroy Oed, before Intelligence has a chance to deploy teams to infiltrate his agenda.”
“I understand the constituents of this predicament, Kassidine.” He paused, leaning forwards. “But you didn’t come all this way to keep me informed. What do you want?”
“Although I am well aware of Intelligence’s desire to keep their missions and measures on the down low, I do believe that this case should be an exception,” Kasmira stifled a sigh, “Oed should be informed of what they are about to face.”
“You came all this way to ask me to notify Oed of an impending attack?” Although it did not surprise Arrik, having known Kassidine since she was a new face in a sea of cadets, it amused him to think she would advocate for this. “Kassidine, we are more than capable of handling this case before it impacts Oed.”
“I am not as fortunate to share the same optimism in Intelligence as you, Admiral.” Kasmira gestured to the PaDD. “We know little of our imminent assailant. We know he is ruthless, and he will do anything to see his actions through. Other than that, we are clueless.”
“It is our job to gather further data on this assailant, that way we can determine his weaknesses and act on them prior to his attack—if the attack happens at all.” Arrik glanced at the PaDD before setting it to the side. “Kasmira, Oed is a prominent colony. It faces its own set of discrimination and threats for assorted reasons. For all we know, this is just a pissed off business owner who didn’t get a stellar deal on his ore. We can’t jump to conclusions.”
“And if we don’t, sir?” Kasmira demanded. “If we don’t jump to conclusions, then what? We just wait and see if it happens?”
“You know we will do everything in our power to understand this threat before we back off completely. I already have teams investigating.” He informed, “If we think it is a threat, then we will notify Oed. Until then, I’ve got a team prepared to be dispatched to the colony, for investigation. Look, Kassidine.. I understand you’re concerned for Oed, but this isn’t the first time we’ve been threatened with something like this.”
“Admiral, with all due respect, most terrorists don’t threaten to assimilate an entire colony of people.” Kasmira retorted, shaking her head. “If you won’t notify Oed, at least let me go with the investigative team. I have dealt with several terrorist projects before, sir.”
“You’re retired, Kassidine.”
“I am Federation Security, Admiral. This is a threat that concerns Federation citizens, not just Starfleet.” She pointed out, eliciting a raised eyebrow from her Betazoid companion.
Kasmira was infamous for her tenacity; of that, Arrik was certain. She would do everything in her power to keep that colony safe, and he agreed. She was right, this threat loomed over them with greater urgency than he had been subject to in the last several years. Oed was in danger. “No, Kassidine.” He couldn’t risk it. “We are going to stick to the plan. There will be no contact to Oed until we are positive. We cannot risk it. If this news slips to the citizens of Oed, they will be terrified. You know, firsthand, what terror does to people,” He sighed. “Kasmira, nothing is going to happen. We will do our due diligence to this case.”
“And what if something does, Admiral? What if this person is stronger than you believe him to be?” She demanded, the anger building up behind her eyes. “Are you ready to take on that responsibility? Can you handle the guilt? Thousands of people live on Oed, Admiral—.”
“No, Emaastren, you listen. My sister is on that colony. She has two young children, two little boys. They may never need to know about this, but the people in charge of their protection do. Because, God forbid, something does happen, the Governor and his cabinet should have time to devise their own plans. We will handle the terrorists themselves, but they need to handle their citizens.”
=^=Admiral Emaastren; Admiral Astrada is requesting to speak with you in his office.=^=
Kasmira glanced at the comms, bowing her head in resignation. “Thank you for your time, Admiral.” She pressed her hands to her thighs, pushing herself to her feet. “If nothing else, think about the consequences.”
As Emaastren watched her departing figure, he knew what she was going to do. He wasn’t going to stop her. Sucking in a breath, he released it, tapping the comm that lay beside him. =^=Thank you, Lang. Tell him I will be there soon.=^=
Hours has passed, the events of the day weighing his mind as he sat behind the sanctuary of his desk. It was late in the evening, 2300, maybe later. He’d lost track. Echoing in his mind like a broken record, Kassidine’s words begged his conscience to reconsider. She was right.. Those people were in danger. They were facing a threat unlike any other. It wasn’t as simple as an armada of ships coming to attack Oed; it was much deeper than that. Its devastation would make a battle seem like child’s play.
Biting his lip, Emaastren shot a long glance at his monitor. It taunted him, poking at his mind. Are you going to do something about this, Arrik? It sneered, without saying a word. Or are you gonna treat this like every other case? He knew it was foolish to internally debate with himself, but the emotions he had read off of Kassidine earlier were strong. She truly believed Oed was in danger. Intelligence officers were trained skeptics, so when they felt something was wrong, it usually was.
He couldn’t deny he, too, felt something was off.
“Computer,” He turned to face the monitor, tapping his fingers hesitantly against the tabletop. “Contact Michael Halloway, on Code 47 channel; priority one.”
Admiral Emaastren, Starfleet Intelligence
Kasmira Kassidine, FSA
OOC: Just going to point out, this is one phenomenal post! Way to go! :D
IC: Governor Halloway was situated at his office desk, playing games with his little girl on the viewer before him. When the priority one message came in, Michael looked up to his wife on the viewer. “Priority one. I have to go. I’ll see you soon.”
She nodded understandingly and clicked off her end of the video.
Halloway straightened his civilian Governor’s suit, and opened the commlink with a look of curiosity and sternness. “This is Governor Michael Halloway of Oed V,” he stated, expecting a similar reply.
-Governor Michael Halloway
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