Posted Jan. 25, 2023, 10:28 p.m. by Civilian Eryn Romanov (Colonial Intelligence Agent) (Jennifer Ward)
Posted by Civilian Joseph Karlson (Police Commissioner) in Restaurant - Try The Borscht, Ignore The Espionage (Tag Karlson)
Posted by Civilian Eryn Romanov (Colonial Intelligence Agent) in Restaurant - Try The Borscht, Ignore The Espionage (Tag Karlson)
Posted by Civilian Eryn Romanov (Colonial Intelligence Agent) in Restaurant - Try The Borscht, Ignore The Espionage (Tag Karlson)
Posted by… suppressed (12) by the Post Ghost! 👻
The first message was odd. It came to Commisioner’s Karlson’s personal communication and, when opened, seemed to be an odd assortment of numbers and characters in multiple languages. It made no sense.
Until the second message arrived a few moments later. That message was heavily encrypted, but the first message melded with it and it became clear.
Please excuse the short notice; but I have a need to speak with you, privately, on a matter of great importance to you, the Colonial Government, and the colony as a whole. I do not know who else to go to with this information, but I assure you it’s importance cannot be overstated. Please meet me tomorrow at the Russian Tea Room at 8 pm. I’m sure you are aware of the place. I will have a private room at the back. Please come alone. Again, the matter is most sensitive. Thank you, Commisioner. Your dedication to the colony is a testament to your department.”
The message was unsigned and no reply was possible.
The restaurant was known… to most of the officers and detectives that worked with Oed Police Organized Crime division. The Russian Tea Room was a sanctuary of sorts for high-end fences, information brokers, and the creme de la creme of criminal operators. It was not the only Russian Tea Room, far from it. But anywhere there was a market high-brow enough, you would find one. The fact that the head of the Oed Police was being asked to actually come in to the place led credibility to the anonymous request… and its sender.
A raised eyebrow was Josephs’s first response to the message, he’d been a part of clandestine operations before, both with Starfleet Intelligence and other similar agencies throughout the Alpha Quadrant. “Jessie, I’ll be taking an early lunch” He said over the intercom to one of his secretaries. This would require some planning, so of course, he went to the best spymaster on the planet, his big brother.
The next day he arrived at the restaurant on time, his instincts as a military Officer was to arrive half an hour before the time but Jóhann had dissuaded him of the idea “You’ll be alone, no backup, and no active communicators, at least that they’ll know about. I’ll prepare countermeasures, it’ll have to be from my personal forces, can’t use Police resources because that’s too traceable, I won’t send anyone in the restaurant itself so you can actually come alone. It’ll take my teams four minutes to provide backup on location as if anything goes wrong we’ll engage transporter inhibitors around the entire area” Joseph smiled at the memory, his brother found tradecraft to be incredibly entertaining, keeping his own private intelligence network as a hobby. It didn’t really matter, he wasn’t overly concerned with the meeting.
He had on his person his personal sidearm in a shoulder holster on his left side, a singular flash grenade in his jacket pocket, and a knife attached to his belt. His bespoke suit was handmade by his personal tailor (His brother) Who designed it to be capable of taking at least one close-range phaser hit, not much use against a phaser set to vaporize but then of course that was always a risk. He had his standard dark wood cane that gave the recognizable click as he entered the restaurant with a nonchalant smile on his face. He walked through the entrance giving the servers a smile and a nod as he walked directly towards the private room.
An ornate white wood door gilded in bronze tones swung open to a small, lush room. The thick pile carpet extended from the main dinning room into this smaller side one. The white oak paneling and mosaics of the main dinning room were replaced with rich warm cherry wood paneling that was highly polished. The light of the crystal chandelier reflected off that high polish giving the room the feel of a warm lodge with a glowing fire. A large stone fireplace and mantle took up the entire length of the back wall of the room, topped by an elegant but simple gilded mirror (which took up the rest of the wall). An ebony wood table surrounded by captain’s chairs, covered in royal blue velvet filled the center of the space. A tea cart abutted the table, offering a wide range of loose tea choices and a bone china tea set. Three PaDDs and three menus sat on the table.
When the door opened the room’s single occupant stood from her chair, palms open and out. She stood at 5‘6” with startling green eyes and white blonde hair in a long spiky pixie cut. She wore knee high black leather boots, cargo pants, and a loose burgundy blouse. A medium canvas utility jacket hung across the back of the chair. Her eyes scanned over him and left the distinct impression she didn’t miss a trick or a detail. She spoke with a hint of a soft Russian accent. “Commissioner Karlson. Velcome, I am pleased you could join us. My name is Eryn Romanov.” She made a slight bow and then waved to a seat at the table. “My associate vill be here momentarily. Tea? I find zhe raspberry zinger quite refreshing.”
Joseph smiled at Romanov’s offer of tea “Please” He took a seat, placing his cane across his lapþ His scan of the room had already finished by the time he’d stepped into the room but he didn’t analyze the spy before sitting down. Just for a moment, his gaze slid from the affable and friendly grandfatherly look he usually put up and replaced with a sharp expression, as if his eyes focused solely on Romanov then just as fast as it started it faded away, it was a blink and you miss moment. He then turned his head towards the kitchen doorway.
Eryn was exactly as she appeared, unarmed and relaxed. She was either reckless or very good. Either way it was a peace offering of sorts. She stepped to the tray and poured two cups of the tea, with flawless grace, despite her gaze focused in him. She set a cup in front of him and her own chair and a third with a strange looking concoction in front of a third. “And do you approve of vhat you see, Commissioner?” She asked as she resumed her seat.
Joseph answered with a wry smile, not looking back towards her “You’ll do” He said offering no further explanation to what he meant.
“Her associate is here.” said a voice from the service doorway to the kitchen. A Bajoran man walked in and nodded to the Police Commisioner. “Thank you for coming, sir. We appreciate it.” The was a shimmer and the hologram covering the figure shut off and instead of a Bajoran, there stood a Breen in full armor. The voice shifted to a synthesized speech and the helmet said “I sent the message, Commisioner. And we apologize for the subterfuge. I am Kodek Vonn, Colonial Intelligence Agency. Ms. Romanov as well. I believe you know our boss, Mr. James.”
If the aging commissioner was surprised by anything he didn’t show it, he hadn’t even twitched an eyebrow when the hologram shimmered away “Some people enjoy tradecraft, usually I don’t mind it. Just a little suggestion for you two, when asking someone to come alone it’s polite to appear to be alone yourselves.” He spoke slowly with a smile on his face but not his voice “I did come inside the restaurant alone of course but that was the limit of my patience” He crossed his fingers, pointedly ignoring the tea “Now, You have three minutes to convince me that this required me wasting an evening planning a tactical assault on a small restaurant” He chuckled “Although it did give me a mild challenge which was entertaining enough, ok you have four minutes”
Before either could respond he suddenly snapped the fingers of his right hand “Ah yes but I had plans for a quiet dinner with my wife tonight so you are now back to three minutes. He tapped his wrist a few times, or to be precise a small computer on his wrist “Starting now” He finished with a dramatic tap to his wrist.
Eryn’s face didn’t show it, but she loved old men of trade craft. There were so amusing, and had earned the right to be. You didn’t get to be old in this line of work unless you were very very good.
Vonn set a data chip on the table and slid it to Karlson. They sat down next to Romanov and the helmets voice modulator, unique to this particular Breen, said “Thirty-nine hours ago my partner and I hacked the Star Fleet Intelligence ship Thresher’s main computer core. That ship is the flagship of Star Fleet Intelligemce, but of that I am sure you are aware. What you may not have been aware of is that SFI has been conducting operations on Oed without telling anyone. That is why we decided to take the data. We did so without Director James’ approval or permission. But… Agent Romanov had been told by a high-ranking CCDA officer that what we… and you… had as far as information regarding the recent attack on General Harris and Lucas Holloway was weeks behind what SFI had. Agent Romanov and I have both worked for other groups before we came here. We both know of the standard ‘keep everyone outside the group in the dark mentality. The same operating standard that the Thresher operatives are working under. We, however, want something different. Cooperation. Inter-agency communication… even if that has to be done under such trappings.” and they gestured to the surroundings. “The chip is everything that was uploaded to the ship’s computer core over the past two weeks. So that will give us all of the data from a week and a half prior to the attack and everything up to a day and a half ago, and not just attack related. That is everything they had. We wanted to go over it with you so the Police are on the same page as the CIA. No one has looked at the data yet. Not even us. We want you to have the same access we do in this.” There was a pause and the Breen remained motionless for a moment. “Commissioner… is that worth more than three minutes of your time?”
Eryn watched, listening, monitoring the feel of the room, and keeping an eye out for twitchy backup, and drank her tea. Vonn had a way of speaking and putting things in perspective that cut through the fluff.
Joseph sighed and shook his head as he examined the data chip “You know son, If I wasn’t already giving your boss access to everything this would have been enough to convince me of granting it, as it stands it may be enough to convince me of the worth of having a Colonial Intelligence Division” He gave the two spies a smile, his usual grandfatherly smile “Yes you have earned your three minutes” He laughed “You know I’ve had to kick Starfleet Intelligence of the planet every now and then, I’m not sure if this beats an illegal Black Site on my Colony but it’s pretty damn close” He picked up the chip to examine it more closely “Do you two need operational cover for this?” He twisted the chip between his fingers “When it’s discovered that they lost it, it’ll be more convenient for them to focus on me than on your agency, and also far more amusing” He chuckled at the thought “Unless you want this to be your debut to the Intelligence Community, either works”
“I vould say worse. Zhe captain of zhe Thresher is not just SFI but also tightly connected to Section 31.” There was warning and knowledge in her statement.
Some might react to that information with gasp or a groan or even confusion. Joseph just rolled his eyes at the mention of the clandestine orginization.
The helmet remained motionless, but the voice said “We are fine, but we thank you for your concern. They know they were hacked, although I am sure they were not anticipating the how of it. And if they trace it back to us, well… then they can explain to the Director why they were operating on Oed without approval. And knowing the Director, I’m sure he would bring you in to that conversation.” He looked at Eryn and said “You have the readers ready?”
Eryn nodded. There was a PaDD in front of each of them. “Stand-alone PaDDs air-gapped from any network and a chip reader. Each has a de-encryption program in case ve run into any issues.”
“Alrighty, then kids” Joseph said with an amused voice “Let’s start this study group” He picked up one of the PaDDs “You don’t mind if I do the honours?” He asked without really expecting an answer.
The hemet said simply “Be our guest. And would you care for anything to eat or drink. Our treat.”
OOC: This is what information I have been given so far. The data files include all information collected from the Thresher for the past 2 weeks. The information contained below focuses solely on the shuttle attack.
The documents have the names of the few members of the Syndicate that would be able to be identified in the video feed of the protests. This would speed up the scans of the colonial surveillance a little bit. There is a file on Ashley Newton with everything that Ryan and his team knew about her – this would be that she was the head of the organization, they would have notes on the fact that they were after some specific “old tech” weapons developed by HHI at the request of Starfleet Security for a specific mission. There was no information about the mission itself though. These were mostly old missile launchers and C4 based explosives – hard to track in the age of energy weapons and consistent with what attacked Lucas’s shuttle.
There are plenty of records of a previous dealing with Newton, specifically, 4 years prior on board the Dresden. What had started as a diplomatic mission to the planet Beta Prime, had turned into an unexpected encounter with the Jem’Hadar and in the discovery of an inactive Intel base that had been activated by a former Intelligence officer called Tomas Dubois. He and Newton had plotted to take the Dresden, and almost succeeded, having tried to incriminate Molly Holloway and eventually getting a confession out of her. However, after a lengthy investigation, the charges against Molly were dropped, and Newton was caught and tried, but she disappeared before she could serve her sentence. In these notes, Molly was referred to by the name “Molly Wright”, her name at the time. Known only to Eryn that name was the name she had gone by in the Farm (an Intel training ‘school’).
Stolen SFI Files
After reading the report twice Joseph lowered the PaDD, a slight frown further wrinkling his face “My background is not in Intelligence Analysis but I’ve read enough Intel reports to read between the lines. In this case I think it’s safe to say that isn’t necessary” He tapped a finger on the table “This is a very impressive haul you have here, It explains the attack on the Holloway’s, both the means and motive. Starfleet will have to adjust scans for any detectable materials in the weaponry mentioned in this report. They’ll be able to locate anything much faster than Colonial sensors could” He was thinking outloud “Do you have any further intelligence on this Newton?” He asked not expecting an affirmative answer.
Eryn shook her head. “Unfortunately no. I have never heard of her. I have heard of a voman vaguely of her description attempting to make deals many years ago, but zhen nothing. Zhe description is not specific enough to know if it vas the same person. Members of ‘syndicates’ come and go quickly.”
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